on Monday 6 December, 2021

A report sparks a dispute inside the corridors of the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait

Yemen Details
by : Yemen Details

Informed banking sources reported that disputes escalated between the Board of Directors of the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait and its executive management against the background of the bank’s involvement in suspicious financial operations linked to the Houthi group and money laundering operations of leaders covered by international sanctions.

The sources said that the Board of Directors of the Bank of Yemen and Kuwait ordered the general manager of the bank, Abdul-Malik Lutf Al-Thawr, and his deputy, Ghassan Al-Ammari, to stop these suspicious financial activities that serve the Houthi group, but the executive management, which is under the control of the Houthis, refused.

According to the sources, the board of directors (the owners) and the executive management failed to come up with appropriate solutions, which led to heated quarrels between the two sides.

These disputes follow the publication of a report by the "Regain Yemen initiative", which revealed the bank’s involvement in money laundering operations and financing Houthi oil companies with cash and providing financial services to the Houthi group without the lowest standards.

These disputes come in light of the involvement of a number of commercial banks and exchange companies in money laundering and money transfers in the names of fictitious and commercial companies in various fields and economic sectors, most notably oil.

In order to resolve the conflict in favor of the executive management, the Houthi militia harnessed their leadership to support the bank in the governorates under their control. Even the most senior Houthi leader in Taiz, Sultan Al-Sami’i, inaugurated the opening of a branch of the bank in the Houthi-controlled areas in Hawban. At the opening, he thanked the bank for the great support it provided to the militias, especially in the field of oil derivatives.

It is not the first time that the bank's involvement in suspected money laundering operations has been revealed. A UN report by the Security Council's team of experts had previously revealed the bank's involvement in the smuggling of funds from the Central Bank for the benefit of high-ranking Houthi leaders. The report showed documents confirming the correctness of the "Regain Yemen initiative"'s findings.

Since the Houthi coup in 2014, an unprecedented recovery has emerged for the Yemen and Kuwait Bank, and it is almost the only bank in Houthi-controlled areas that responded to the requirements of confiscation and seizure of some accounts of anti-Houthi persons, which are managed by the so-called Houthi judicial guard named Saleh Al-Shaer, who is included in the international and American sanctions lists.

Economists, financial observers and bankers indicate that the bank's continuation in this direction may have a disastrous effect on the bank's internal and external reputation and might be subject to severe international sanctions.