Customs Police Seize Contrabands worth 111mln Birr, Arrest 18 Suspects

ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) on Saturday said contraband goods and foreign currencies valued at more than 111 million Birr have been seized during various operations in the past week.

The operations against illegal cross-border trade were conducted jointly with regional and federal law enforcement agencies from March 31 to April 6, the Commission said in a statement on Saturday.

At least 18 suspected smugglers have been apprehended along with 12 vehicles that they were using to transport the contraband items.

The list of seized items includes clothes, vehicles, petrol, coffee, electronics, cosmetics, weapons, Khat, cooking oil, medicines, and foreign currencies.

The majority of them were intercepted while they were being smuggled into the country, the customs Commission Said, estimating their total value at 88.2 million Birr.

The remaining 22.1 million birr worth of items was also captured before leaving the border.

Moyale Customs managed to intercept most of the contraband seized while crossing into the country, capturing items valued at 33 million Birr.

Hawassa and Addis Ababa airport customs branches also apprehended contrabands worth 15 million Birr and 11 million Birr, respectively.

ECC Officials praised the support law enforcement agencies and the public offered in the recent contraband seizure.

They also urged for the support to continue in order to prevent the negative impact that the contrabands and illicit forex flow have on the economy.