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HomeEthiopian NewsClergyman arrested over U.S. $6 million fraud says "I was cheated"

Clergyman arrested over U.S. $6 million fraud says “I was cheated”

Ethiopian News _ Clergyman _ $6million fraud
Kesis Belay Mekonnen facing a $6 million fraud charge at the Ethiopian court (Photo : DW Amharic)

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Toronto – Kesis Belay Mekonnen, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Priest who teamed up with the renegade Archbishops who attempted to split the Holy Synod along ethnic lines to establish an ethnic Oromo patriarchate, was last week arrested in connection with attempted bank fraud in the amount of US $6,050,000.  He was caught in action. 

He reportedly used a fraudulent document to withdraw the money from African Union Bank account. 

When he appeared in court this week, he told the court that “he happened to be at the scene deceived by people.” He said so through his lawyer, Tulie Bayissa – according to a report by BBC Amharic which was published on Wednesday. 

It was for a second time when he appeared at Arada First Instance Court after police requested court for an extra seven days to finalize the investigation. 

Kesis Belay holds a senior position within the Ethiopian Patriarchate  despite he led an ethnic Oromo Nationalistic crusade against the Ethiopian church behind the scenes for an ethnic Oromo Patriarchate. Later he remained in the Holy Synod as three Bishops declared a separate Holy Synod in February 2023. 

The Ethiopian Church earlier this week released a statement saying that the alleged fraud has nothing to do with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and it is something he is involved in personally. 

When the news was heard, some activists – like Getachew Shiferaw – expressed concern that the government might have a plan to set up the Ethiopian church in a way to tarnish its image. 

What is known in public about Kesis Belay’s attempted fraud is that he tried to withdraw US $6,050,000 from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Branch that is located within the African Union Head Office in Addis Ababa using a fraudulent document. According to a BBC Amharic report, his lawyer confirmed that that was the case he is charged with. Last month, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia lost billions of birr due to “systemic glitch” during “modernizing the online system”  but the bank said the money lost was only 800,000 million birr and much of it is recovered. 

The money was to be withdrawn from the African Union Bank account. The source cited The Reporter – local newspaper as saying that it read from a letter the African Union wrote to Federal Police and Traffic Accident investigation that the money was to be withdrawn from the African Union Bank account. The money was asked as a payment for four construction projects but no further detail was given. 

Police searched Kesis Belay Mekonnen’s residence and have reportedly seized a handgun – which the defendant claims to have a legal authorization to possess. 

Police are reportedly searching for six other suspects who collaborated with Kesis Belay and have asked the court for an extended time. 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. After spending a long time in hibernation, Mahibrekidusan, a beast, once again shows its demonic face

    Those perpetual foes, fanos posed as pious men, going by the name Mahibrekidusan, undoubtedly accuse the most reverend Kesis Belay Mekonnen. It is only a matter of time until the holy church and its synod of Oromia rise up and break away from those who plot and finance the genocide against the people of Oromia and Tigray. Mahibreseytan is well-known for its exceptional skills in conniving in a plot and always working to maintain their economic interests and tarnish the reputation of the dedicated religious scholars who are adored by general laity, posing a threat to their dominance. After spending a long time in hibernation, Mahibrekidusan, a beast, once again shows its demonic face.

    Dismantle Mahibreseytan, fake Mahibrekidusan, conduct business in the name of saints, and perpetrate all evil acts.

  2. “Police searched Kesis Belay Mekonnen’s residence and have reportedly seized a handgun – which the defendant claims to have a legal authorization to possess.”

    Well, well, well, what a great debacle: an ethno-fanatic oromumma priest who carries a pistol in one hand and a Cross in the other hand. A man of faith, a priest, a cadre but always an oromo first before trying to be human being at all.

  3. The other 6 suspects being sought by police may be heading to Toronto, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Down Under. Then they will open up a TV channel on YouTube, X, Facebook, TikTok you name it with thousands subscribers. Do you think this is new? Just look around.

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