The Ethiopian Federal Police has arrested an individual named Samuel Aguale Alemu on Wednesday (26.1022), whom it accused of illegally possessing more than 5 billion birr. Samuel was arrested with 25 other individuals including his sister Yodit Aguale Alemu who are found to be complicit in the crime.
According to a report by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate (EBC), state media, the suspect frequently travels to the United States and has a business license for Electric tools, and house and office furniture. He is resident of Addis Ababa identifying himself with nickname ‘Sammi dollar’.
The statement from the police claims that the individuals have been engaged in “illegal money transfer and forex trade in collaboration with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). According to statement by federal police the suspects have made a transfer of 5,248,000,000 birr in one year. It is also said that Samuel and his sister Yodit have over 25 joint bank accounts and have carried out a 247 million birr worth transition in just one year.
Early this week on Monday, rime Minister Abiy Ahmed directed decisive and swift actions need to be taken against economic sabotage including hiding of products, illegal foreign exchange and land grabbing, which he said were “the main obstacles” challenging his administration’s journey towards realizing Ethiopia’s prosperity.
Similarly, the National Bank of Ethiopia closed 391 banks accounts early this month and due to file charges against the account holders who are suspected of engaging in illegal money transfer activities. The National Bank of Ethiopia also rolled out a reward program for individuals who anonymously inform about illegal money transfer and exchange services.
The Ethiopian economy has been struggling with lack of foreign currency and market inflation, which the government partly blames on illegal money transfer activities.