By Staff Reporter
November 8, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The Addis Ababa Police have arrested more than 70 individuals on suspicion of stealing over 60 million birr using stolen and fake bank cheques as well as forged documents.
The commission in a statement said the suspects were apprehended by the joint operation of the federal and Addis Ababa police members following tips received from the National Information and Intelligence Service.
Yared Alemayehu, the head of Severe Robbery and Theft Investigation Department with the Addis Ababa Police Commission said the suspects are accused of stealing cheques from different private companies and using wrong documents and withdrawing 60,843,000 birr from accounts of private companies and institutions.
“Some of the suspects were apprehended while withdrawing another 28 million birr using fake cheques. The money is currently held by the police as evidence,” Yared said.
“The police have blocked the suspects’ account with a total of 16 million birr balance,” he added.
Employees working in Ethio Telecom and commercial banks, Wereda administrations, Document Registration and Authentication Office, and other institutions collaborated the suspects for the offenses, police said.
Accordingly, those employees of government offices allegedly involved in the cheating and stealing of money from private institutions will be hunted down, the police said.
This is the second time that the Ethiopian police have apprehended suspects of organized crime of this magnitude since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed office in April 2018. Many people wonder whether this is going to be the norm with the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed or it will maintain law and order at some point.
About 84 suspects accused of involvement in bank robberies in West Oromia regional state were arrested earlier last year but released without facing justice due to government failure to prosecute the suspects who were believed to be members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). 18 private and state-owned banks were robbed of tens of millions of birr in a span of five days in January 2018 in the same region.
Addis Ababa Police Commissioner Getu Aregaw in a relevant meeting said crimes related to cheating using fake cheques and ATM cards is on the rise, causing serious problem on the national economy. He said the police would work with commercial banks to prevent such crimes occurring during transactions in financial institutions.
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