Weyanes Crack Down On Currency Exchangers – Abugiida

March 18th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Federal and city law enforcement members raided last week more than 26 underground foreign exhcange spots in a manner that saw an unusual apprehension of what officials often call the parallel market. Now, police accuses them of artificially distorting the foreign exchange market.

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Federal and city law enforcement members raided last week more than 26 underground foreign exhcange spots in a manner that saw an unusual apprehension of what officials often call the parallel market. Now, police accuses them of artificially distorting the foreign exchange market.


Addis Abeba Police, together with the Federal Police , raided small kiosks in almost all corners of the city that regularly exchange currencies rather overtly. More than 35 suspects have been arrested, according to official sources, and more than $6,000,000 of currencies – US dollar, euro, British pound, Chinese Yuan, Thailand Baht and Emirates Dirham as well as Ethiopian Birr, have been confiscated.

In a subsequent move, the Ministry of Trade and Industry also has revoked permits it had granted to cement importers through Franco Valuta but accusing them of doing business with the alleged perpetrators. This massive measure is the first of its kind since this Administration came to power in 1991. After the collapse of Derg regime and the Weyanes seized power, this exchange market was considered as legal and Meles was even boasting in many of his speeches saying that, he even allowed these markets knowingly due to his believe in free market regulation.

The individual with 13 million birr in cash was caught on Thursday March 13, around American Gibi in a place called Beteseb Supermarket. The hard currency was also taken as evidence. Some said that the amount seized during the raid could be over six million dollars including the amount apprehended in Ethiopian birr.

Police has taken into custody over 35 illegal traders in connection with foreign currency exchanges that police claims has contributed to the current destabilization of prices in the country.

Many believe the Ethiopian Birr has depreciated due to corruption in the National Bank, failure in the economic policy and high world oil price.They believe also this measure can’t solve any thing unless the Government wants to cover up its face.

One dollar was changed for 10.60 birr in the past two days before the police cracked down on the black market.

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