Police Arrest 10 Employees of INVEA for Issuing Passports illegally

ADDIS ABABA – At least 10 employees of the Ethiopian Immigration Nationality and Vital Events Agency (INVEA) have been arrested for allegedly issuing travel documents illegally.

The arrest came after the agency found discrepancies during a four-month long auditing of the information on its system and contacted the federal police.

The Federal Police Commission said they arrested 10 suspects from different branch offices of the INVEA on Wednesday. Agency’s official said two are currently on the run.

The individuals used the profiles of others who already got passports to prepare illegal passports to individuals, criminals and foreigners who had not yet given their fingerprints, said Tadesse Ayalew, Corruption Crimes Directorate Director at the Commission, speaking with state broadcaster EBC.

The director also said the suspects, arrested from Addis Ababa, Adama, Bahir Dar, Hawassa and Dire Dawa Immigration branches, have been working collaboratively.

The suspects were receiving up to 80, 000 Birr from an individual, he said. Their illegal deeds have also caused the government to lose more than 1 million Birr.