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Houthis Continue to Extort Sanaa Merchants

Houthis Continue to Extort Sanaa Merchants

Saturday, 8 January, 2022 - 08:15
A Houthi security officer in Sanaa (EPA)

Adnan al-Qurashi, a Yemeni businessman, owns two factories that produce household appliances in the Beit Bos area, south of Sanaa.

He owns a villa and two apartments in front of which a fleet of cars is parked. That was before May 2021, when his life was turned upside down because of a Houthi leader. Now, he lives with nothing abroad.

Between accusations of evading the war effort tax, possession of drugs, and communicating with the Mossad and Israel, Yemeni merchants living under Houthi rule found themselves and their relatives either in prison or fleeing the country.

Although Houthis exploit many means to confiscate properties, the looting remains their only truth.

Al-Qurashi is one of the lucky few who got to escape the country instead of being sent to Houthi prisons. He was falsely accused of communicating with the Mossad and US intelligence.

Al-Qurashi’s story began when a leader of the Houthi militia shut down his two factories, stormed his home, and framed three of his relatives and prosecuted a fourth relative because they took legal action to expose the commander and recover the property.

For al-Qurashi, there were no signs that the Houthis had decided to confiscate his properties. It was later made clear that the Iran-backed group wanted to take out his businesses for competing with other investors connected to the insurgents.

He did not see the false charges of drug possession coming. It was used as a premise for Houthis to take over his property, throw al-Qurashi’s family on the street and probe his relatives.

The businessman’s lawyer appealed to the Houthi attorney general to withdraw his client’s case, yet to no avail. With al-Qurashi’s factories closed, 300 employees are left to an unknown fate.

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