Officials seize Contraband Items Worth 69mln Birr in a week

ADDIS ABABA – Contraband goods worth 69.2mln birr have been captured within a week in three in various customs checkpoints across Ethiopia, according to the Ministry of Revenue.

Customs officials seized the items, valued 69,215,956 birr in total, during their operations between May 6 and April 14, 2021.

Majority of them (estimated to be worth 66.7mln Birr) were seized while entering into the country illegally, the Ministry said in a statement issued Monday.

Addis Ababa Airport, Hawassa, Jigjiga, Dire Dawa, Moyale, Bahir Dar, Galafi, Jimma, Adama, Awash, Kombolcha and Asosa are the customs branches where the contraband was seized.

Officials, however, said most of the smuggling attempts were made in Addis Ababa Airport, Moyale and Dire Dawa.

A total of 41 vehicles involved in the crimes were also seized during the operation.

The Ministry said foreign currency, clothing, food, electronics, cosmetics, clothing and footwear, spare parts, medicines and drugs have dominated the list of contraband goods captured by the customs officials.

“Illegal trade is the enemy of the country and the people,” said the ministry. “This is not only a loss of revenue for our country and a disruption to the business system, but also a source of dangerous substances that can harm the health of our society”.

“Therefore, we call on the public and the security forces to continue their cooperation and continue to work together against the criminals,” its statement concludes.