Contraband and illegal trades remain one of the major challenges for the economy

Customs seize Contraband valued at 556mln Birr

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) says its agents have seized contraband valued at 556 million Birr in a week-long operation.

The operations were conducted jointly with federal and regional law enforcement agencies beginning August 11, the Commission said in a statement today.

Vehicles, petrol, coffee, livestock, electronics, cosmetics, weapons, Khat, medicines, drugs, and foreign currencies dominated are among the items seized in the operations.

The majority of them were intercepted while they were trafficked into the country.

The commission estimated their total value to be more than 523.1 million Birr. The rest of the 35 million birr worth of goods were prevented from leaving the country, illegally.

Addis Ababa Airport customs branch seized the biggest of all customs branches in the week. The value of contraband seized there is estimated at 273 million Birr.

Dire Dawa and Jigjiga customs branches also intercepted contrabands worth 113 million Birr and 44 million Birr, respectively.

At least 12 suspects have been arrested in connection with the smuggling cases, along with 10 vehicles used to traffic the contraband items.

The ECC said the joint operations against smugglers would continue, appreciating those involved in the crackdown against illegal trade and contraband.

However, combatting contraband should not be left alone to a few institutions due to its complex nature, and requires collaborative efforts to cube, it added.
In the June-ended 2022/23 year, customs police seized 11.6 Billion Birr worth of contraband items and arrested 1,393 smugglers.