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Police Intercept Drugs, Foreign Currencies at AA Airport

ADDIS ABABA – The federal and customs police intercepted drugs and foreign currencies from suspected smugglers at the Bole international airport.

Three suspected smugglers, all foreign nationals, were arrested after cocaine weighing 17.9 kilograms was seized, the federal police said on Monday. The drug was found during a search on a passenger plane that flew in from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The smugglers planned to travel to various countries via Addis Ababa Bole international airport, police said.

Another search also led to the seizure of foreign currencies being trafficked to Dubai, illicitly. The seizure involved 44,440 euros, 20480 GB Pounds, 11,840 US Dollars, 3,700 UAE Dirham, and 1700 Saudi Riyals, according to police.

Security officers intercepted the banknotes from suspects identified as foreigners who were on the way to UAE, Dubai.

The Ethiopian Customs Commission Chief Debele Kabeta said smugglers were trying to get through the airport “in a way that was never seen before”, adding more resources and skills are needed to respond to the challenge, appropriately.

In the last week of June alone, the customs commission says its branches captured contraband valued at more than 384 million birr. Of which, contrabands worth 374 million birr were apprehended while crossing into the country.

Foreign currencies, drugs, coffee, livestock, petrol, weapons, and vehicles were among the seized contraband items. Police also arrested 22 smugglers and 11 vehicles used to transport contraband in the same week.