ADDIS ABABA – Federal Police of Ethiopia arrested dozens including a suspect nicknamed Sami Dollar in the latest move to squash the black market and illicit financial transfer.
The arrests were made earlier this week after an investigation into a tipoff from the public found their involvement in illegal money transactions, said the Police statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement identified the main suspect as Samuel Egwale, also known as Sami Dollar, with a license to import electronics and housing equipment.
Police accused him of engaging in illegal money transfer and foreign currency exchange activities using his import license as cover.
Samuel along with his sister illegally transferred 247 million Birr in one year alone via 25 different bank accounts, alleged the Police.
In addition, the statement said Police found evidence showing that Samuel and 25 other suspects illegally transacting 5.28 billion Birr in a year.
Investigation into the cases is still ongoing, said Police, after putting all the suspects in custody.
The individuals are accused of engaging in remittance without having a license and evading taxes.
The suspects have been working in connection with a terrorist-designated TPLF group, alleged the Federal Police.
The arrests are a part of the government’s ongoing crackdown on illegal money transfers that led black market rates to drop significantly in recent weeks.
Authorities including the National Bank of Ethiopia took several measures after sudden spikes in the parallel market last month.
The measures involve the introduction of stringent regulations that banned banks from issuing letters of credit (LC) for 38 items.
They also froze the bank accounts of hundreds of individuals and companies including 13 betting firms for their involvement in illegal money transfers with the prosecution to be filed.
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