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General Corruption, Saleh Assets

2005 Wikileaks cable: “Amaar and Yehia #Saleh are making millions working the diesel smuggling and black market”

Reference id  aka Wikileaks id #33105  ?

Subject Royg Insiders Increasingly Frustrated With Saleh Clan
Origin Embassy Sanaa (Yemen)
Cable time Mon, 23 May 2005 14:26 UTC
Classification SECRET
Source http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/05/05SANAA1352.html
References 05SANAA966
Referenced by 05SANAA151105SANAA1571
History First published on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 21:56 UTC (original)
Modified on Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24 UTC (diff from original)
Modified on Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:29 UTC (diff from original)
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
Hide header S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001352 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2015 TAGS: PREL [External Political Relations], PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PTER [Terrorists and Terrorism], PINR [Intelligence], KMCA [Millennium Challenge Account], KMPI [Middle East Partnership Initiative], DOMESTIC POLITICS SUBJECT: ROYG INSIDERS INCREASINGLY FRUSTRATED WITH SALEH CLAN REF: SANAA 966 Classified By: Ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski for reasons 1.4 b and d. ¶1. (S/NF) Ambassador met informally with Shura Council Member Mohammed al-Tayeb at his home on May 19. A member of a group of pragmatic, reform-minded ROYG insiders, Tayeb said that President Saleh is more interested in enriching his family than in making the strategic choices necessary to lead Yemen into the future. Tayeb was gloomy about President Saleh’s ability to understand the importance of the issues of controlling SA/LW and intelligence sharing to U.S.-ROYG cooperation, and said Saleh did not comprehend what was necessary to maintain a close relationship with the USG in the long term. End Summary. ¶2. (S/NF) Echoing what we are increasingly hearing from those ROYG interlocutors closest to the Embassy, Tayeb said that Saleh is more and more isolated, and less and less responsive to advice from those practical, progressive ROYG insiders whom he counts himself among (MOI Alimi, MFA Qirbi, DFM Noman, MOPIC Minister Sofan and a few other, mostly western-educated, reformers). Tayeb moaned that Saleh “listens to no one,” and is “unrealistically and stupidly confident” that he will always make the right decisions. Saleh, he said, does not think strategically and cares only about enriching his own family, particularly: Saleh’s brother, Air Force Commander Mohamed; cousin, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar Commander of Northern Army (considered the second most powerful man in Yemen); son, Yemen Special Forces Commander Ahmed Ali (and Saleh’s preferred heir to the throne); and his two favored nephews, Yehia, Central Security Forces Commander, and Amaar, National Security Bureau Deputy Director. ¶3. (S/NF) Together with Sheikh Abdullah al Ahmar’s clan (speaker of the Parliament and supreme chief the Hashid tribal confederation which includes Saleh’s tribe), all of Yemen’s wealth is being squandered and stolen by Saleh who is increasingly “greedy and paranoid,” especially regarding American intentions, said Tayeb. Tayeb said extension of Hunt Oil’s Block 18 concession is finished (reftel); the spoils will be divided up between the Haile Sayeeds, al-Ahmars, and Salehs with a UK company taking over the operation of the oil-fields. Tayeb claimed that Amaar and Yehia Saleh are making millions working the diesel smuggling and black market along with Ali Mohsen, using military vehicles and NSB and CSF staff to move the fuel to markets in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. One story has Amaar Saleh depositing more than 7 million USD cash into his private account in the National Bank. Tayeb swore this was true and came directly from the bank manager and employees who had to scramble to find enough clerks to count the cash in front of a nervous and sweating Amaar. ¶4. (S/NF) Tayeb also said that his contacts in Saada, including a leading sheikh (he would not give his name), are all furious with Saleh over the amount of indiscriminate killing and destruction perpetrated by the regular army in the north during last month’s suppression of the al-Houthi rebellion. Tayeb claimed that the “Believing Youth” were by far the minority of the fighters in Saada, rather he said, most fighters came from tribes allied together against Saleh and the central government. He said Saleh is “extremely concerned” that he could lose control of the tribes in Saada and that this will spread to the al-Jawf and Ma’rib tribes. ¶5. (S/NF) “Everyone”, according to Tayeb, has had it with the corruption of Saleh and his family. As an example, Tayeb cited the outrageous costs of this Sunday’s May 22 celebration of the fifteenth Unity Day being held in Mukalla at a cost, claimed Tayeb, of more than 300 million USD, most of which will go into the pockets of those government officials arranging the show. (Note: The price tag Tayeb gave likely includes some of the massive development projects in Mukalla and elsewhere that the government is rushing to complete before May 22. End Note.) ¶6. (S/NF) Comment: Tayeb is only one source, and this is not the first time he has given a pessimistic assessment of Saleh and his cronies. He still has access to the President in the informal role of “American handler and analyst.” But we are increasingly hearing hints and murmurs from others, including DFM Mustafa Noman and Senior Presidential Advisor Abdul Kareem al-Iryani (who told Ambassador recently that he “wants out” of politics because the President no longer listens to his advice). Even Hameed al Ahmar, the son of Sheikh Abdullah and CEO of Al Ahmar Inc., who, while most certainly profiting from the corrupt business dealings of his father and Saleh, claimed that he and a group of young GPC and Islah MP’s intend to band together to force the government to control corruption and enact reforms. ¶7. (S/NF) Comment Continued. We have heard rumors backing up Hameed al-Ahmar’s claim of an opposition candidate in 2006. Saleh is worried about a possible political challenge next year from Islah and the new opposition coalition JMP, or even from within the GPC. We may well see another clamp-down on the press and political parties “for security reasons” that will roll back some or much of the progress made in democratic reforms and human rights just in time for this year’s MCC reports. End Comment. Krajeski

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Exposing the corruption in Yemen

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