Yemen's Sheikh Hameed al-Ahmar buys politicians
Chiara Onassis <http://bikyamasr.com/author/admin-2/
> | 12 February 2012 |
Sheikh Hameed al-Ahmar
SANA'A: Yemen's Sheikh Hameed al-Ahmar's name has come to be associated
again with scandal, which could potentially send shockwaves not only through
the Yemeni community, but across European Union institutions.
Sheikh al-Ahmar, who is one of Yemen's wealthiest businessmen, with the
Times having estimated his personal fortune to several tens of billions of
dollars, also hails from Yemen's most prominent and powerful tribal family.
Younger brother to Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar, the mighty leader of the Hasheed
confederation of tribes, al-Ahmar is also President Ali Abdullah Saleh's
most virulent and vocal opponent, often having accused the veteran autocrat
of abusing his position for personal gain.
Hameed, who is well-known for his less than savory business ethics in the
country, has often been linked to corruption, embezzlement and countless
cases of abuse of power without the justice system ever being able to pin
him down for more than a speeding ticket.
Only one month ago, however, a Dubai court indicted him in a case of money
laundering, claiming that the Sheikh was using the Emirates to syphon
hundreds of millions of dollars.
Today, men working closely with the Sheikh revealed under cover of
anonymity, for they feared for their lives, that Hameed had several
prominent politicians and foreign officials on his payroll against "favors
"The Sheikh wants to ensure that his reign over Yemen will survive beyond
the end of the regime. He actually hopes that with Saleh gone he will
eventually become Yemen's most powerful man," said a close associate.
Troubling, the source told Bikyamasr.com that Michele Cervone d'Urso, the
European Union ambassador to Yemen would be receiving $50,000 per month from
the Sheikh as the two men were business partners.
Bikyamasr.com could not independently verify this accusation.
Since al-Ahmar happens to be a leading member of al-Islah, Yemen's Islamist
political faction, and therefore an acting political force in Yemen, several
of the Sheikh's detractors are already raising several question marks over
the ethics of such dealings, whispering of a more sinister reality.
According to sources on the ground in Sana'a, the situation could quickly
devolve into a widespread scandal that could engulf European institutions
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Received on Sun Feb 12 2012 - 11:40:10 EST