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News: Anti-Corruption Committee announces major crackdown against senior officials suspected of corruption, organized theft

Temesgen Tiruneh and Dr. Gedion Timotios.

Addis Abeba– The newly formed National Anti-Corruption Committee said this morning that it has commenced work and announced a major crackdown on corruption and organized theft.

The Committee, led by Temesgen Tiruneh, Director Generation of the National Intelligence and Security Service, said that several high level officials from land administration and government housing management, security and justice institutions, financial sector, and government revenue and customs offices.

Among the high level detainees include Tewedros Bekele, Director General of Ethiopian Financial Security Services, which was one of the 20 institutions that were restructured to be directly accountable to the office Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during the formation of a new government in October 2021.

A federal institution which was established to coordinate various financial institutions involved in the fight against money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of financing crimes, among others, the Ethiopian Financial Security Services has recently been announcing its own crackdown on illegal money transfer activities, and accused several agencies that it said were involved in illicit money transfer activities from abroad.

Temesgen Tiruneh, accompanied with the Minister of Justice, Dr. Gideon Timotios, another member of the Committee, issued a joint statement regarding the activities of the committee. Corruption has become “a national threat after the cost of living and unemployment,” Temesgen said.

Officials suspected of corruption and detained also include officials from the National Intelligence and Security Service, the police, as well as prosecutors and judges; have been detained and are being investigated.

More works are being done to bring individuals suspected of such crimes who fled the country to justice through extradition agreements signed with different countries.

The Committee further said major areas of widespread corruption and unjust wealth accumulation which were “identified through research” by the Committee include credit lending, consumer goods sectors and procurement and finance.

Although the government has been doing several activities, including the use of technology to prevent corruption, it has not been possible to tackle the problem to the required level due main to the COVID epidemic and war.

It was in mid-November that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has announced the establishment of the Committee, which he said was tasked to coordinate the government’s campaign against corruption, identify actors in addition to those identified in a study, and bring perpetrators to justice.

According to the Committee’s statement this morning, so far, more than 250 tip-offs were collected from the community in span of one week of the establishment of the Committee alone, adding that communities are encouraged to provide more tip-offs using toll free 9555. AS

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