Chinese Man charged after 5.8kg Milinerals Contraband Bust

ADDIS ABABA – A Chinese national has been charged after he was caught trying to smuggle 5.8 kilograms of contraband minerals out of Ethiopia, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

Federal prosecutors have charged the suspect with one count of trafficking contraband crime, the ministry said in a statement.

The suspect, named Pan Chiwon, was caught along with contraband minerals on Jan 24 while trying to board a plane to China at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

Customs officers found various types of minerals hidden inside his luggage handles during a search following a detection from a security x-ray baggage machine.

He was trying to do so without any authorization and license, the charge document read, violating customs and mineral trade laws of the country in the process.

The seized minerals include two gold bars weighing 3.8kg, as well as pieces of copper, zinc, and silver that weigh two kilograms in total, as per the MoJ statement.

The total value of the minerals is valued at 18.6 million Birr. The value does not include the 12.8 million Birr attempted tax evasion.

Prosecutors brought the contraband charges against the suspect at Federal first instance court in Addis Ababa on Thursday.

The court has decided to start the hearing on March 7, 2023.

After a two-year remarkable export performance, the mining sector has underperformed in the first half of the current fiscal year due to contraband.

This time, authorities say, both foreign and local residents get in on the illegal trade, particularly gold, one of Ethiopia’s major export items.

Gold generated close to $117.4 million in exports in the first six months of the current fiscal year. The earnings were less than half of what was the $306.8 million set for the period.

Share this