Ethiopian Intelligence said it worked with domestic and international authorities to seize two containers of illegal firearms destined to Ethiopia via Djibouti
March 9, 2020
Ethiopian Intelligence seized two containers of illegal firearms that entered the country via Djibouti, State media Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reported on Tuesday.
It originated from Turkey’s Port of Mersin and was shipped to Djibouti port, where it was clandestinely stored for more than five months, and then it was smuggled to Ethiopia, according to Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) as reported by EBC.
Five hundred one boxes and over eighteen thousand Turkey made handguns are seized. Also, another 229 boxes which contained electronic items that were meant to be used as a cover for the smuggled items are taken.
NISS said that it has been making necessary follow- up the matter since it got information (the time is unspecified) and launched a special operation to identify how and who is going to smuggle it to Ethiopia. Smuggling networks outside of Ethiopia have been traced.
Twentyfour suspects who were allegedly tasked to distribute the smuggled arms to different parts of Ethiopia were caught as they were about to receive it.
Seven unspecified international firearm smugglers from different countries are said to be involved in the crime, and NISS made public that it is working and exchanging information with Djibouti, Sudan, Libya, Turkey, and the United States of America.
NISS said that two Sudanese suspects are already in custody.
The firearm was intended to exacerbate violence in different parts of the country, claims NISS, and that there would have been greater damage to the country had it not been captured.
Customs commission, Federal Police, Addis Ababa Police, Amhara region police, Oromo region police, and community members have contributed to the success of the operation, said NISS.
Smuggling with Turkey made firearms, especially handguns, have been making news headlines in state and affiliated media outlets for over a year now.
In September 2019, Ethiopian Intelligence reported that it has foiled extensively planned attack by Al-Shabab and ISIS against Ethiopia.
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