Police say the businesses were supporting Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s (TPLF) operation and were sources of finances for the organization
The Federal Police Commission on Thursday announced that it has closed down 117 businesses and residential homes affiliated with the terrorist Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
Jelan Abdi, Federal Police Commission Communication Director, spoke to Voice of America Amharic service. He said the action was taken based on evidence and a court order.
There have been accusations that government actions, including recent arrests, are based on ethnic profiling. Mr. Jelan dismissed it.
He said identity verification and proper investigation was undertaken before the action. It is not politically motivated, he said.
Furthermore, he said that the Federal police had established that a TPLF affiliated network, which was created when the TPLF was in power, had been amassing US dollars from black markets in the country at an extremely high rate of exchange.
Mr. Jelan also said the money ended up overseas and was spent for the purchase of firearms for the TPLF. Locally, the higher rate of exchange in the black market negatively impacted the economy, he added.
According to the VOA report, 14 individuals implicated in the illegal foreign currency circulation and black market operation. They are said to have networks in the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Israel and South Africa.
The Federal Police Commission said it is working with INTERPOL to apprehend individuals linked with black market money exchanges.
The TPLF dominated power for nearly three decades. In the first decade in power, it was able to establish a large “party owned” business enterprise in the country, The Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), which created well over $US 5 billion wealth.
Apart from the organization, quite a considerable number of individuals affiliated with TPLF were able to create wealth through unfair business practices using political connections.