The “frozen US dollars” (dollars with broken serial numbers) are invading the Yemeni banking market in Sana’a and the northern governorates, under the cover and management of the Houthi militia.
The price of the Yemeni riyal against foreign currencies recorded gains with slight movements in the areas controlled by the Houthi militia, during the past two days, at 555 riyals for the dollar, and 145 for the Saudi riyal.
The news site “NewsYemen” quoted a source working in one of the departments of the Presidential Leadership Council in the capital, Aden, as saying that “the Houthi militia flooded the banking market in Sana’a and other areas under its control with frozen dollars, so that some banks trade these banknotes without knowing it.”
He added that, according to the information he obtained, more than $60 million of frozen dollars entered the banking market in areas controlled by the Houthi militia during the past three months.
The frozen dollar is widely spread in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries, and it is sold through brokers, gangs or smuggling networks.
These funds are considered intact, but they are only frozen due to their sequence of numbers that are not included in banking operations.
The source confirmed that some foreign organizations and agencies operating in areas controlled by the Houthi militia played a major role in helping the Houthis by introducing frozen dollars and disposing of them in the banking market, according to the claim.-
The source said that the Houthi militia brought this money into companies, exchange shops and banks operating in Sana’a and their branches in the governorates under its control, and it is circulated among citizens.--
Exchange office in Sanaa (archive)
The concept of “frozen dollars” appeared since the outbreak of the first Gulf War in the nineties of the last century, and similarly these dollars left Libya’s banks in 2011 and reached several countries in the region, even Asian countries where monetary control is weak.
And the US monetary authorities (the Federal Reserve Board) freeze all cash balances looted from the central banks of any country suffering from unrest, so that they have no value, and the central banks of other countries are informed about these dollars in order to freeze them based on the serial numbers recorded in the private databases with banks.
According to the source in the presidency, the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden receives reports from the Federal Reserve Board about these dollars and their serial numbers in order to freeze them.
For years, the Houthi militia has implemented procedures to pass the circulation of frozen dollars, by obliging banks to deal in “white dollars” (pre-2009 edition) so that they can sell their stocks of frozen dollars.
The source did not give data on the size of the monetary block of frozen dollars that entered the areas controlled by the Houthi militia during the past years.