Ethiopia : Custom authorities and importer arrested on alleged corruption charges

January 2,2017

Government in Ethiopia is arresting more people, and now members of the administration as well, on alleged charges of corruption.

Pro-government Fana Broadcasting cited Azzezew Chane,Kaliti custom office deputy manager, to report that an importer, two employees of custom authority and a person who seem to be in shipping business are arrested for corruption that led to tax evasion.
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According to the report, the importer who is identified as Shemsu Shekur evaded tax when importing ready made clothes from China and two custom authority “professionals” were involved in making the arrangement for tax evasion. The names of the two persons from custom authority and the person from shipping business, who is described as “transitor” by Fana report, is not disclosed.

Of more than 7 million Ethiopian Birr to be payed in tax, according to the report, the importer paid only about 1 million and 116 thousand Ethiopian birr in taxes. The case is still under investigation and charge is not laid.

Last week, more than one hundred twenty people including 90 employees were arrested in connection with corruption within Addis Ababa administration.

Government is depicting recent “corruption” arrests as part of its pledge for an “in-depth party renewal” after it admitted that corruption has become an existential threat in its bid to maintain power.

Major critic from opposition quarter and from people who are rather apolitical alike is that the dominant party in the ruling coalition, Tigray People Liberation Front, and its affiliates , are the most corrupt entities in the country and they point to huge wealth that TPLF people created as an evidence for corruption.

Sebhat Nega is a senior member and one of the founders of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front. In an interview with the Voice of America Amharic,and this was only at least five or six years ago, he admitted that the party created huge wealth after it came to power. Without considering wealth created by TPLF affiliates, the party itself is said to be worth over five billion US dollars and is involved in business in a range of areas in different sectors in the economy.

Speculation is that wealth created by TPLF affiliates engaged in import-export business, hotel and tourism, construction,manufacturing and banking, among others, created capital and wealth in corrupt means and TPLF itself is implicated in it directly or indirectly.

In fact, there are many business men who were gurrilla fighters or in the army of the same regime at some point in time.

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