ADDIS ABABA – Law enforcement agencies intercepted 30 million birr worth of contraband goods including clothes and cigarettes in eastern Ethiopia.
The contraband items were captured near Bordede Town on Saturday night around 11p.m. local time in an operation conducted in coordination with federal and Oromia police, said Awash Branch of the Ethiopian Customs Commission.
Five Isuzu trucks that started their journey from Shinile zone’s Mulu District was destined to the center. The items were later captured in a forest nearby Bordede town, Eastern Hararghe.
The trucks carrying the items hid there till they found the right time to escape customs officers and continue transporting them to the center of the country, said the customs officials.
The law enforcement agencies, however, stepped up their surveillance of their operation that started a week ago after receiving a tip-off from the public nine days ago, and were eventually able to catch five truck full of contraband goods.
Apart from clothes and cigarettes, medicines, Shisha and other items have also been seized, said Inspector Alemu Yimer, contraband trade prevention team leader at the Awash Customs branch, speaking to the Ethiopian News Agency.
“Left unchecked, such items and trades create a negative impact on the national economy in general and public health in particular,” said Inspector Alemu.
The Inspector put the estimated total value of the contraband goods seized at more than 30 million birr.
The goods were captured on the same day that the Ethiopian Customs Commission reported the outcome of their officers’ week-long crackdown on smugglers across its branches in the past week.
According to the report, the Commissioner’s customs branches intercepted more than 101.5 million birr worth of goods within seven days, beginning last Saturday.
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