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Separatists in Yemen Make Off with Billions of Rials

Yemen’s Central Bank has accused southern separatists of hijacking billions of rials’ worth of fresh banknotes that had just arrived at Aden port from currency presses in Russia. The Central Bank warned of “dangerous consequences” from the heist, which occurred on Saturday. An unnamed Yemeni government source said the shipment involved the transfer of 64 billion rials, the equivalent of about $257 million. A statement issued by the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a roof body for several movements seeking to secede from Yemen after having sided with government forces in their fight against Houthi rebels, called the hijacking one of “several measures to end sources of corruption and to prevent the use of public money in supporting terrorism.” Yemen’s government transferred its seat of power to Aden after being removed by the Houthis from the capital Sanaa in late 2014. Two months ago, the STC declared self-rule in the southern port city and the areas around it.