Security authorities in Ethiopia claim TPLF and OLF -Shane linked individuals are captured with large sums of foreign currency and over 5 kilograms of gold bar
Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on Tuesday disclosed that it has arrested about 164 individuals over alleged involvement in activities to support terrorist groups.
5.8 kilograms of gold and hard currencies from different countries are seized, says a report by Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation which cited a statement sent to it from NISS.
The currency and gold were meant to be used by groups that the Ethiopian parliament designated as terrorist organizations – Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the military wing of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which the government calls as Shane.
Twelve of the suspects are linked to an attempt to smuggle out 5.8 kilograms of gold bars through Bole International AirPort.
The hard currency was wrapped with minced meat to an undisclosed destination. 34,100 British pound, 27,170 Euro, 6,200 swiss franc, 209,750 US dollars, 400 Canadian dollars, 4,059, 378 Ethiopian birr, 47,370 Euro (again), and 37,330 British pound (again) were seized at Bole International airport, as reported by EBC.
NISS claims the funds were meant to finance TPLF and OLF Shane cells abroad. The objective of some of the suspects seems to be just meant to smuggle hard currency out of Ethiopia with the intention to harm Ethiopia’s economy.
Apart from cash and gold, 13 GPS devices, 9 satellite radios, 5 satellite phones and binoculars are seized at Bole customs. These ones were meant to be smuggled into Ethiopia.
Clothing with TPLF and OLF logo sent out via Ethiopian Postal Service are also seized and 13 people linked to it are in custody. The items were meant to be for use by supporters of the designated terrorist organization.
It is to be recalled that TPLF forces suffered humiliating military defeats in the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, and were cleared from most of the areas they controlled in July 2012. The TPLF leaders, on the contrary, make claims that they withdrew their forces and retreated to the TIgray region with the intention to pave the way for a “peaceful end to the conflict.”
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