By Mohammed Naser
Aden - The Houthis have made billions of Yemeni Riyals from the recent rise of car fuel prices and the big black markets in the militia's areas of control, sources with relevant knowledge said.
The militia made around YR 6 billion - One USD equals YR 600- extra profit as inferred from difference between the price prior to the recent increase and the price of sales now. The Houthis had recently increased fuel prices by 90%.
The sources said, "A fuel shipment of 27,800 tons of fuel arrived in Hudaydah seaport last week, and what was distributed to oil stations is only YR 200 thousand liters after the Houthi-run oil company announced the new price of YR 8500 for 20 liter containers. "
The source said, "Hence the profit that the militias will gain as a price difference made in the black market will amount to YR 6 billion."
The sources added that "the Houthi leaders through the militia's so-called Economic Committee have failed to hide the incoming fuel cargo on the tanker Sea Heart because the government had given it a docking permit in Hudaydah Seaport and announced the size of the shipment it carries. [Failing to hide the cargo, the militia's leaders] therefore had to enforce a price increase on oil by YR 2600 per 20-liter container under the pretext of vessel docking delay fines, claiming that the due demurrage is YR 2.2 billion in total."
The source said: "If the vessel delay claim is right, then by converting the cargo of 27893 tons to 20-liter containers, we have 1,882,912 containers. The number of containers times the announced price increase of YR 2600, means the imposed price increase totals YR 4,895,571,200 (More than four billion and eight hundred million Riyals).
If the Houthis take what they claim as a demurrage, YR 2.2 billion, then they have an extra 2,695,571,200 (more than two billion, six hundred and ninety five million Riyals)"
The sources told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat [website and newspaper], that "the 20-liter containers are in reality sold for YR 11500, which means the actual price increase is YR 5600, nor YR 2600 as announced [by the Houthi militia]. Therefore the collected increase totals approximately six billion Yemeni Riyals, meaning the militia will gain YR 4 billion as extra profit from the latest oil cargo alone."
The Houthi militia follows the same [price exaggeration] method with every fuel shipment that arrives through Hodeidah Seaport.
The sources refuting the alleged claims of [Arab Coalition] blockade [against Hudaydah Seaport] , as a claim by the Houthis to advance the militia's leaders interests in maintaining thier monopoly over oil products and maintaiing their oil black markets which generate billion of Riyals and help finance the militia's war against the Yemeni people.
The sources said: "The restriction on fuel vessels in the past months was confined to Hudaydah Seaport while the rest of the country's seaports were open as usual and huge quantities of fuel were imported through them. Even the fuel arriving from the government-controlled ports gets confiscated by the militia and given to the Houthi traders to sell them in the black markets in exorbitant prices to guarantee continued sources of finance for the militia's war."
# The above is a translation of part of an Arabic report published by the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (The Middle East) newspaper and website.