Continuing its fight against illicit financial outflows, the government of Ethiopia’s customs authorities on captured a woman who was smuggling $33,250 cash out the country.
The money captured at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, according to the Customs Commission of the Ministry of Revenue. The money was confiscated by random search made by the employees of the customs.
The lady who was trying to smuggle the hard currency out of the country is now in custody, according to the report of FBC. The Commission has urged the public to collaborating in sharing information on such illicit financial outflows.
Ethiopia has been among the top countries whose name has been frequently mentioned in global and continental illicit financial flows and money laundering reports.
The report of African Union’s (AU) high level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa ranked Ethiopia 9th from the top 10 African countries with high illicit financial flows from 1970 to 2008 next to Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan.
The report indicated that Ethiopia could have lost 16.5 billion dollars due to illicit financial flow from 1970 to 2008, which was 2.3pc of the total illicit financial flows from the continent, which among others includes trade miss-invoicing and smuggling out cash.
Recently, a veteran macro-economist Dr. Eyob Tesfaye, who is appointed as board chairman of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia a few days ago by the reformist Prime Minister Abiy, has estimated that Ethiopia has lost around 1.8 trillion birr (close to $36 billion) over the past 27 years mainly due to trade miss-invoicing.
Another report of Global Financial Integrity indicated that as a result of the rise of corruption, kickbacks and bribery in Ethiopia, the country has lost $11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2009.
For the east Africa country which has not been able to feed its people and always begs for foreign food assistance, tackling illicit financial outflows and corruption is now taken seriously by the reformist prime Minister Abiy Ahmed regime, which is currently prosecuting dozes of former corrupt officials and their business associates.