Houthis impose new illegal taxes on telecom companies

Houthis impose new illegal taxes on telecom companies

Alsahwa Net- The Houthis armed group imposed this week new illegal taxes on wireless telecommunications companies operating in their-held capital Sana’a, local sources in Sana’a said.

The sources indicated that the action is part of larger extortion the Houthis exercise for looting the pubic and private money to finance their military effort.

The Houthis’ Minister of Telecommunications, Musfer Al-Nomair ordered that both public and private telecommunications company must pay a total of YR500 million ($one million).

The Houthis claim that the money will go to a bank account they opened recently for raising community funds to counter risks of the coronavirus.

The order included the Public Telecommunication Company (PTC), TeleYemen, a PTC subsidiary, Sabafon, MTN and Yemen Mobile.

The new order on the illegal taxes requires each telecommunications company to pay YR100 million ($200,000).

The Houthis invested on the COVID-19 for waging intensive crackdown on businesses, retailers and companies in their held-territory to force them pay money for their military effort.

The Houthis have already changed management officers of several telecommunications companies including the privately owned Sabafon and the public Yemen Mobile.

Sources quoted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily Newspaper estimated that the Houthis’ income from the telecommunications sector reached $280 million in 2018.

However, this money goes only to pockets of the Houthis corrupt leaders among them chief of their Political Council, Mahdi Al-Mashat, Minister of Interior, Abdulkarim Al-Houthi, Ahmed Hamid and Minister of Telecommunications of their illegal cabinet.

A 2019 report by the Panel of Experts of the UN Security Council (UNSC) indicated that the Houthis control at least YR407 billion ($814 million) as a result of the regular collection of fees from corporations and telecommunications, tobacco and various licensing charges.

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