A Yemeni organization tracking money plundered by Houthi coup militias accused the Iran-backed militant group of operating over 910 companies and money exchange facilities in the areas under its control.
According to the financial monitor, Houthis rely on the network to perform complex financial transfers away from regulation.
However, the organization welcomed sanctions recently imposed by the US Treasury Department on members of the Houthi network, dubbing them an important step that will better tighten the noose on financial resources accessible to militants.
“Houthis were using Swaid & Sons Exchange Company” to smuggle and launder cash to fund terror attacks and protract the war in Yemen, it said in a statement, providing details about Saeed Al-Jamal, whom the US State Department considered one of the most prominent figures that transfer funds to the Iran-aligned militia.
Al-Jamal, aged 42, is said to hail from the Hamdan area in the Houthi-run Yemeni capital, Sanaa governorate.
He was tracked down moving between Yemen, Iran, and Lebanon before settling in Iran in 2009 to establish a financial network supervised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
The network he established is believed to have been set up exclusively for supporting Houthis by providing them with oil by-products and commercial goods and handling their money transfers in different countries.
Last week, the US Department of the Treasury updated its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN) Human Readable Lists to include Al-Jamal.
US sanctions “are an important step that may tighten the screws a little on the Houthis’ financial resources,” said the Yemeni monitor, adding that Swaid & Sons Exchange Company was one of the essential sources for handling and moving money for Houthi leadership.
Houthi militias depend on complex money exchange and remittance companies for their financing, noted the monitor, explaining that the blocked network was on the verge of establishing a commercial bank for Houthis.