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Deposed Yemen president Saleh 'may have $60bn fortune' Open in fullscreen

Saddam al-Kamali

Deposed Yemen president Saleh 'may have $60bn fortune'

Saleh was kicked out in 2011 but still commands wide support [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 25 February, 2015

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UN sanctions committee tells security council that Ali Abdullah Saleh is believed to have moved most of the money out of Yemen during his decades in power.

Ali Abdullah Saleh is believed to have amassed assets worth $32bn to $60bn during his 33 years as the president of Yemen, a UN experts have said.

In a report to the UN security council, members of the organisation's sanctions committee said the assets are believed to include property, cash, shares, gold and other valuable commodities in at least 20 countries.

Yemen's annual public budget is about $12bn.

The report, circulated on Wednesday, noted that Saleh had many years to hide his assets, especially after the possibility of sanctions against him was raised nearly a year ago. The panel said five prominent Yemeni businessmen are believed to have helped him.

Saleh's presidency began in 1978 and was ended by a popular revolt which began on 11 February, 2011.

Sources within the Yemen National Authority for Recovering Stolen Assets had previously told al-Araby al-Jadeed that Saleh was believed to have approximately $70bn in assets.

     Assets are believed to include property, cash, shares and gold in at least 20 countries.

Yemen officials are attempting to to pass a law to recover stolen funds via a special committee headed by the minister of legal affairs. However, ministers affiliated to Saleh who serve in the governments formed over the recent period have sought to obstruct the adoption of such laws.

Last November, the Security Council passed a resolution to freeze the funds of the deposed Yemeni president and two leaders from the Houthi movement, Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim.

All three were accused of obstructing the country's political transition and the rule of the current president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to renew sanctions adopted under Chapter VII for another year.

Government reports state that Yemen is in need of approximately $11.9bn to address its economic problems.

Furthermore, Yemen requires approximately $748m to achieve its humanitarian goals for 2015, according to the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw.

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.

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