Seven trucks used to smuggle contraband were also seized during the week-long operations

Customs Seize Contraband Items worth 800mln Birr

Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) says contrabands worth more than 800 million Birr were seized in week-long operations against illegal cross-border trade.

The joint operations involving federal and regional security officers were conducted from Dec 28, 2023, to Jan 4, 2024.

In a statement today, the ECC says 12 suspected smugglers have been arrested along with seven trucks used to traffic the contraband.

The seized items include car spare parts, coffee, medicines, khat, cosmetics, edible oil, fuel, illicit narcotic drugs, and foreign banknotes. The Customs Commission has put their total value at more than 803 million Birr.

Most of the seizures were made while they were being smuggled into the country. Authorities estimate their combined worth at 404.1 million Birr.

The remaining 398.9 million Birr worth of contraband were intercepted while leaving the country illegally.

Of the ECC total branches, Addis Ababa airport customs seized the biggest contrabands worth 254 million Birr. Awash and Dire Dawa branches placed second and third and captured 213 Birr and 132 Birr contrabands, respectively, per EEC.