Customs Police Seizes Contrabands worth 225.1mln Birr

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) officers seized contraband items worth 225.1 million Birr in week-long joint operations to clamp down against illicit cross-border trade.

Ten suspected smugglers have been arrested along with three cars used to transport contraband, the ECC said in a statement on Saturday.

The list of contraband items includes vehicles, coffee, khat, foreign currencies, weapons, fuel, and livestock.

The Commission says its officers managed to prevent 43.6 million Birr worth of products from illegally leaving the country.

And most of the seizures, however, were made while they were being smuggled into the country, noted the ECC, estimating their total value at 214.4 million Birr.

Dire Dawa customs branch played a big role as it managed to capture contrabands worth 116 million Birr.

Moyale and Hawassa branches also prevented the second and third highest incoming contraband items, valued at 27m Birr and 25 Birr, respectively.

The commission appreciated the role of the general public to the joint operations that started on April 21 involving federal and regional security forces.

This collaborative effort has to continue to tackle the challenges that illicit cross-border trade poses to the economy, the commission added.