ADDIS ABABA – Eleven suspected smugglers were arrested as Customs police seized contraband items worth over 195 million birr in a week.
The seizure was made during a week-long operation against smuggling, starting from October 21, said the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) in a report Saturday.
The amount is at least 65 million birr higher than the preceding week during which customs police prevented contrabands worth 130 million birr.
Saturday’s EEC report listed clothes, petrol, livestock, electronics, coffee, cosmetics, medicine, narcotic drugs, khat, vehicles, weapons, edible oil and foreign banknotes among the seized items.
The majority of the contrabands were intercepted enroute to the country. The commission put their value at 143.2 million birr.
More than 52.5 million birr worth of goods were also captured while they were being smuggled out of Ethiopia, according to the ECC.
At least 11 suspected smugglers have also been arrested together with 36 vehicles used for smuggling.
As per ECC report, federal customs branche at Addis Ababa airport was able to intercept the most, seizing 30.8 million birr worth contrabands.
Akaki Kaliti and Moyale branches respectively intercepted 29.6 million birr and 24.2 million birr worth of illegal items.
ECC attributed the interception of the contrabands to collaborative effort between officers at the customs branches and regional and federal police, with public support.
“We are grateful for their collaborative efforts,” it said, urging them to continue cooperating in the fight against illegal trade and reduce its impact on the country’s economy.
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