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.