Addis Ababa Police Seize Millions of Birr, Foreign Currencies in Illicit Money Crackdown

By Staff Reporter

Addis-Ababa-Police-CurrencyOctober 3, 2020 ( -- The Addis Ababa Police Commission announced seizure of more than 15 million birr and thousands of foreign currency notes during its week long operation to crack down illicit financial exchange activities.

An alleged cameronian criminal was caught redhanded by the police while printing counterfeit US dollars, Getu Argaw the City’s Police Commissioner said in a briefing.

Getu said the suspect was caught along with over 2,475, 000 fake US dollars in  Addis Ababa at Bole sub city at a place popularly known as Gurdshola.

According to the commissioner, Police also seized 7, 243,385 birr and other foreign currency notes which were in circulation in black markets.

Getu said 117,703 US dollars, 8050 Dirham, 1610 Suaid Riyals, 400 Euro,740 British Pound, 700 South Africa Rand and other Indian, Sudanese, Iraqi and Chinese currencies were seized during the latest operation.

“Police also confiscated 7, 823,484 birr while being transferred in breach of the recently endorsed law which bans holding of more than 1.5 million birr at hand,” the commissioner said

He said police also confiscated 301 flat screen TVs which were smuggled from Tigray to Addis Ababa and another 47 pistols and about 500 bullets during its special operation in connection with Ethiopian Meskel celebration.

In a recent speech in connection to the introduction of new currency notes, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed encouraged security forces to act more aggressively in searching for illicit financial flows and other contraband activities.

He allowed them to confiscate the illicit money for themselves as incentives to halt circulation of forged currencies.

Meanwhile, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) said it has helped police to apprehend a terrorist group, which started off from the Tigray region, having a mission of carrying out multiple attacks in Addis Ababa and Deberzeit town, 45 Km south east of the capital.

NISS in a statement said the terrorist group consisting members of the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were armed with 10 klashinkoves and 280 bullets.

They were operating in clandestine but apprehended along with their vehicle at Haiqe town in South Wello zone of Amhara regional state, NISS said  

Idris Eyassu, leader of the terrorist group, confirmed that members of the group had received training in Tigray region and were mobilized by the region’s Security Bureau and other TPLF officials to carry out the attack.

According to the Intelligence Bureau, the group members were planning to launch terrorist attacks during Irreecha celebrations to be held in the capital Addis Ababa and Debrezeit town.

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