Economy

Yemen's Hadi 'secretly visits Djibouti to to cease all business of former president Saleh

Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made a secret trip to Djibouti on Saturday to pressure the country’s banks to cease all business with former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to online newspaper al-Mashad al-Yemeni, Saleh is helping bankroll the Houthi rebel movement through his business and shareholdings at a number of Djibouti banks.

“The former president is a shareholder in a number of investment companies in Djibouti, which he owns through bank bonds,” a source close to the president’s office said.

Hadi’s visit to Djibouti was reportedly focused on stopping Saleh’s investments in these companies, related to the Cooperative Agricultural Credit Bank (CACB).

This is not the first time the bank has been linked to the Houthi movement. In March 2015, a spokesperson for the Houthis announced they were accepting donations to their cause via an account at the CACB.

In December 2015, the CACB reported that they had installed new anti-money laundering systems that would help stop funding “terrorist groups”.

“It is encouraging to know that despite the current situation in Yemen, the Central Bank is continuing its battle against money laundering and terrorist financing by enhancing the framework of anti-money laundering,” said Ibrahim Nijad, the CEO’s assistant at CACB.

Hadi's government operates out of Saudi Arabia after the Houthi rebels took Sanaa and other major Yemeni cities two years ago.

Last month, Hadi’s government announced Yemen’s central bank would move to Aden, in a move which was interpreted as an attempt to de-fund the Houthis in Sanaa.

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