ADDIS ABABA – Illegal cigarettes worth 7.8 million birr have been seized by Awash Customs Branch Officers after a tip-off led them to intercept a shipment.
Nearly 10, 500 packets of illicit cigarettes were intercepted while being transported into Addis Ababa, said Inspector Alemu Yimer, Contraband prevention team leader the branch office, speaking to the state-run Ethiopian News Agency on Saturday.
The officers discovered the illegal cigarettes, they said could worth 7, 847, 600 birr, in an Isuzu truck, plate number 3-24239 AA, around 2 a.m midnight on Friday.
The driver was using an alternate route at night via a nearby forest to dodge the customs check-point, said Inspector Alemu. However, Customs police, who were tracking the vehicle after a tip-off from the public, intercepted the truck but couldn’t apprehend the smugglers who managed to escape leaving the car behind.
Police are now on a lookout for the suspects, including the driver.