Gunmen in Aden force shopkeepers to pay arbitrary taxes
Gunmen raided a number of shops in two of the largest commercial areas in Sheikh Othman district, in the north of the interim capital Aden district on Friday, and forced business owners to pay extortionate and illegal taxes.
One of the shop owners and multiple eyewitnesses told Almasdar Online that the gunmen broke into a number of food stores in the Al-Silah commercial area, in addition to multiple electronics stores in Abdul Qawi neighborhood, and demanded that the owners pay them money as “taxes” or else they would close their stores.
According to eyewitnesses, some shopkeepers initially refused to pay the armed men, saying the extortionate taxes are illegal, which caused one of the gunmen to threaten the use force if they were not paid.
The shop owner said that a large number of shops were forced against their will to pay about 30,000 to 40,000 Yemeni riyals (about $50 to $65).
Several of the armed men were masked, and according to the sources they were wearing civilian clothes and presumed to be locals.
Aden continues to suffer from instability following the battle in the city in August between the government of Yemen and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council, the latter of which has maintained de-facto control of the city since August 10, 2019.
Edited by Alkhatab Alrawhani