Yemeni security forces in Marib thwart attempts to smuggle ancient statues

the aim of the Houthi militia was to destroy all national capabilities, including the cultural heritage. (Al-Ekhbariya)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Yemeni security forces in Marib thwart attempts to smuggle ancient statues

  • The Yemeni news agency reported that security forces seized gold statues and gemstones at a military checkpoints outside the capital
  • The aim of the Houthi militia was to destroy all national capabilities, including the cultural heritage

DUBAI: Yemeni security forces foiled a Houthi attempt to smuggle rare antiquities out of the Marib province, arresting those involved, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.

The Yemeni news agency reported that security forces seized gold statues and gemstones at a military checkpoints outside the capital.

The police chief in the province said the suspects arrested for the smuggling attempt were monitored for more than a month before they were arrested. The gang confessed to selling the relics to Arab merchants who acted as brokers.

The general director also said those arrested were part of a larger smuggling gang. He said the investigation revealed that many antiquities and gold bullion were smuggled out, and several archaeological sites have been destroyed.

He said the aim of the Houthi militia was to destroy all national capabilities, including the cultural heritage, where artifacts were seized in the Yemeni museums and official stores of the state.


Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

Updated 15 November 2018
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Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

BEIRUT: Bank deposits in Lebanon have risen by 4 percent on the year, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, and he maintained his economic growth outlook for 2018 at 2 percent.

In July Salameh had said he expected bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

In October the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halved their growth outlook to one percent for Lebanon, where public debt is about 150 percent of gross domestic product.

“Lebanese banks have succeeded in maintaining foreign exchange inflows into their sector supported by (the central bank),” Salmeh said in a televised speech at a Beirut economic conference.

With growth low and traditional sources of foreign exchange — tourism, real estate and foreign investment — undermined by years of regional tension, Lebanon increasingly relies on dollars expatriate Lebanese deposit in local banks.

The banks buy government debt, which finances the country’s eye-watering public debt and twin deficits.

The central bank also brings in dollars through complex financial operations with local banks to boost foreign currency reserves needed to defend the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar.

However, deposits have been growing at a slower rate since war broke out in neighboring Syria in 2011, and deposit growth rates are closely watched.