The man who foiled the smuggling of old YR 2.200 bln to Sana'a

The man who foiled the smuggling of old YR 2.200 bln to Sana'a

Yemen Voice – Exclusive          

28 November 2021

Until this moment, the story of foiling (in Dhale'a province) of the smuggling of a shipment of old Yemeni riyal banknotes to Sana'a has not received due attention.

That smuggling attempt was the beginning of a dangerous scheme according to senior military officer Taher Mus'id Al-Aqlah. But a more dangerous network [took the shipment after the failed smuggling] and deposited it in the bank's safety boxes and then there were attempts to divert attention from the issue.

That scheme has now been fully implemented and all the old Yemeni riyal banknotes are in [Houthi-held] Sana'a and our national currency has since split to [high-value] old riyal notes and [low-value] new notes.

It was years ago that a senior officer in Dhale'a managed to halt smuggling of this shipment of YR 2.200 billion while en route to Houthis in the capital Sana'a.

Taher Mus'id Al-Aqlah foiled the smuggling bid in a checkpoint in Qaataba a district of al-Dhale'a in the highway connecting Sana'a and Aden.

The officer intercepted the money convoy despite the smuggling drivers' persuasion of previous checkpoints that the cars were delivering dead human bodies to funeral sites or carrying money belonging to Al-Kuraimi bank.

Only in this checkpoint it was found that the cargo is a huge shipment of old Yemeni riyal banknotes heading to senior Houthi leaders.

This successful thwarting took place before Yemen's currency split into old notes and new notes and before their exchange rate split [into high and low respectively].

They money at the time was transported to Aden where the central bank received it and placed it in the safe boxes, in a clear indication the money was retrieved from smugglers who tried to deliver it to senior Houthi leaders in Sana'a or otherwise abuse it. And this is exactly what happened: The old riyal notes later completely disappeared [from government-held regions]. 

Al-Aqlah was right. After thwarting the smuggling operation, many senior officials contacted Al-Aqlah, gave him a hard time for doing his duty.

As the years passed, now the people are asking where is that shipment of money, was it smuggled again to Sana'a and is that why the people [outside Houthi areas of control] are now facing this severe depreciation [in the value of the new riyal notes].


  • Translated from Yemen Voice website.

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