By Staff Reporter
August 24, 2018 - The Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority seized over 1 billion Birr worth of contraband goods as they were being smuggled into and out of the country during the past Ethiopian fiscal year.
In a briefing on Friday, Communication Director of the Authority, Ephrem Mekonnen said 827.4 million worth of the contraband goods were seized while they were smuggled into the country.
Further, 179 million Birr worth of the contraband goods were captured as they were smuggled out of the country via the porous border.
The incoming contraband goods include clothes, different currency notes, weapons, cigarettes, food items, liquor, medicine, and spare parts of different automobiles.
Those contraband goods that were captured as they were going out of the country were livestock, dollar, Ethiopian Birr, Chat and teff, Ethiopia’s staple crop.
Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, and Djibouti have been identified as the main sources conduit for the contraband goods entering into the country.
Considering the highly porous nature of the border with neighboring countries, the corruption within law enforcement authorities and governing bodies, many people believe that this sum is probably a tiny portion of the overall contraband trade in the country.
According to the director, the value of the contraband goods seized while entering into the country saw a six percent increase, compared to the contraband goods worth 778.6 million Birr seized in the previous fiscal year.
According to information obtained from the authority, coffee, which is the country's main export, multitude of livestocks, cereals of various types, animal skins, fuel and others goods are smuggled out of the country.
Officials of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) told the House of People’s Representatives last year that they were was having a hard time keeping up with the growing contraband trade into and out of Ethiopia as the contrabandists constantly alter their methods and contraband networks evade existing anti-contraband operations and controlling mechanisms.
The director said a joint task force representing the Prime Minister office, Ministry of trade, and the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority have been actively working to deter the growing contraband trade of the country.