$8 billion secretly taken out of Ethiopia – UN report


Is there any question about who is taking the money out of the country? The Meles crime family has has been looting Ethiopia’s treasure for the past 20 years.

By TAMRAT G. GIORGIS

(Addis Fortune) — Ethiopia may be touted at international conferences on development agendas as one of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, but it is also one of the top 10 out of the 45 least developed countries (LDCs) where foreign currency flows out in an {www:illicit} manner, worse than countries such as Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea, a new study found.

Over 8.3 billion dollars left Ethiopia in 18 years after 1990, an amount comprising an average 3.6pc of its GDP, a damning and first of its kind study, conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revealed last week.

This is part of the one trillion dollars that is believed to have left LDCs over the years covered by the study, an amount estimated to be 10 times larger than what these countries receive from rich countries in the form of official development assistance (ODA).

Ethiopia’s loss of over eight billion dollars in the past nearly two decades represents an average of 3.6pc of the amount it has received from its development partners during the same period, the study revealed.

The worst period was in 2006, when illicit funds representing 9.2pc of foreign assistance for the year, amounting to 1.4 billion Br, was believed to have left the country.

Bangladesh stands above any of these countries found to be victims of the illicit outflow of foreign currency; it has lost 34.7 billion dollars (equal to 3.4pc of its GDP) to illicit money transfers, followed by Angola, which lost 34 billion dollars, 10.9pc of its GDP.

“This money could be used for the countries’ development efforts,” Helen Clark, UNDP administrator, said at a panel discussion held in Istanbul, Turkey, on the side of the UN’s fourth conference on LDCs.

The 63-page report by the UNDP was released on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 11, 2011, where Abdella Hamdok, an expert on the issue from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), was one of the panellists.

“It is an excellent report that has managed to capture the extent of the problem,” she said.

Although there are 49 countries listed as LDCs, and 45 of them were covered under the study, 70pc of the illicit outflows of funds as “any money that is illegally gained, transferred, or received” originated from Africa, according to Hamdok.

Another finding of the report that raised eyebrows among panellists was the revelation that the usual suspects of African dictators and their cronies do not have as much part in the money laundering scheme as members of the private sector. A staggering 79pc of money laundering out of these countries was funnelled through what the studies described as the “mispricing of trade.”

The mispricing of trade involves businesses under or over invoicing of their merchandise, according to Clark.

“When a ton of bananas is sold for a dollar, but the invoice says 50 dollar cents, the other half is slashed to be sent to an offshore account,” said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, a former senior official from South Africa who now serves UNDP as director of Democratic Governance Group.

The source of illicit money is tax evasion and an attempt to launder the gains through the international financial system, according to the UNDP study.

“That there is a lack of adequate global tax monitoring and the absence of information sharing has contributed to the outflow,” said Moleketi.

Macroeconomic problems such as high inflation, structural characteristics of an economy including non-inclusiveness of growth, and overall governance issues such as political instability were blamed by the UNDP experts as the reasons behind money laundering from poor countries.

Ethiopia, sharing all or some of these factors, lost an annual average of 491 million dollars over 18 years, the study disclosed. The highest amount to have fled the country, 2.1 billion dollars, was recorded in 2008.

It claims nearly eight per cent of the country’s GDP registered that year, according to the UNDP study.

Ethiopia’s loss of foreign currency to money laundering between 1990 and 2008 was 1.2 points below the 4.8pc average recorded for all the countries covered in the study, while 27 of these countries are above this average which bleeds their economy. Chad is the biggest prey with a loss of 15.4 billion dollars (27.3pc of its GDP).

Government representatives at the discussion were advised by the UNDP officials to modernise their customs systems and undertake public administration reforms to provide expertise to fight money laundering. No Ethiopian government delegate was present; while over 30 had arrived in Istanbul, they left the day before.

Apart from an Ethiopian working for the UN and stationed in New York, there were two other Ethiopians in the room where the discussion took place. Among them was a shareholder of a prominent importing company in Ethiopia, Garad Plc. They had also left before the recommendations of the UNDP were read out.


37 thoughts on “$8 billion secretly taken out of Ethiopia – UN report

  1. Kill the bastards! on

    The thief doing what he does best–the #1 looter dictator has the key of the Ethiopian Treasury and has been stealing whatever his evil heart desires and kill anyone whoever comes of his way for over 20 years. The disgraced bloody hand criminal Meles, his wife and their professional mobster buddies who have robbed the country blind and massacred tens of thousands Ethiopians, should never been allowed to live, let alone live in the Ethiopian palace ruling the country with iron fist. The organized criminal party called TPLF have been fooling, lying, cheating, torturing and killing Ethiopians for 20 years, OMG! How is it possible that one small minority ethnic group can produce these many heartless, murderer looters, taking food from the mouths of Ethiopian children and let them die of hunger! I am so angry, I’m ready to throw up.

  2. fact finder on

    We’ve been talking about this thing for a long time the one of main looter is Sunshine construction owner . he has been looting millions of dollars for a long time and building mansion different countries and investing the looting money in different part of the world including USA , Dubai and Abudabi . They should hold him accountable for looting and money laundering. he was well knowing guy around ethiopian banks ; taking ridicules amount of money in loan and delinquent his them .

  3. Adnakiw on

    very sad. Do we expect any good things from this looting and money laundering regime? if not, what we are waiting for?
    Let’s say enough is enough. or BEKA

  4. ARE WEYDA on

    How much did that guy paid for that MANSION in DC area?

    Follow that money and you will find one billion. :(

  5. ARE WEYDA on

    So what? what is new? We know and they knew we knew these thugs are mafia/gangs yet they still steal with them. Why now? why it took nearly 20 years for this report? I know why. Because the FREE ETHIOPIA movement is at the point of no return. The march is on and UN is getting ready just incase. You watch they will throw everything they have on Meles & Associates very quick. My advise to all is PLEASE GIVE 0 CREDIBILITY to the so called UN. As always ETHIOPIANS will free ETHIOPIA. Meles is no biger than the IMF head. Watchout woyane BEQA is coming.

  6. observer on

    Q.Who is the partner of Meles’s crime??????
    A. HIS MASTERS
    Q.who is whistel blower.
    A.HIS MASTER
    Q. where is the money
    A At his masters Banks

  7. Anonymous on

    It is not surprising at all as far as the very behavior and objective of the terrible ruling elite is concerned. Whether the money has been stolen from the innocent people of Ethiopia directly by the ruling party or indirectly by politically affiliated “private” businesses( robers) does not make any meaningful difference. There is no way for private businesses which have no any dirty connection with the structure of Tplf/eprdf to engage themselves in this kind of crime against the very survival of the country and her innocent people . No matter how the mastermind (Meles and cronies) try to mystify this huge scandal,they will never escape this hard fact, and the days of true judgement will come sooner,not later.

  8. Tadias on

    What do you expect when the people of the country think that the government itself is a “theif”. Under God, the government shall be trusted in order for the people to trust the system and use the highway of the state’s legitimiate system. If I am told day in and day out that Azeb and Meles are thieves, there is no way I would wait for them to give me foreign currency by considering me as an equal citzen that has equal rights whether I am a former Tagay, or from a certain ethnic group, or if my business is one of the tax-free EFFORT Companies. Water and human engeuity always find a hole to escape and unless a credible, just and honest system comes, this bleeding would draw the EPRDF regime to the sea level and make the economy shatter in the end. The Meles and Azeb regime has lost its credibility and people shall not trust them to be fair games when it comes to business and trade.

  9. Tadias on

    be zerefut genzeb abayn yigedebu !
    Build Nile Dam with our looted money!

    Since they said ” The project which is expected to generate 5,250 MW will cost $4.8 Billion dollar ”

    Even 8 billion-4.8 Billion = 3.2 Billion

    Kery hisab alen.., we have remaining 3.2 Billion change with EFFORT !

  10. Anonymous on

    The West is a partner in the looting of third world countries.They officially give tax payers money to LDCs and close their eyes when corrupt leaders deposit a portion of it in their own banks.
    The Ethiopian regime is the mother of all corruption as this is the only country whre pary owend organizazion( EFORT) is recognized and accepted by the West as partner to do business with.

  11. KG on

    The source of evil is for developing countries (Africans)are their masters: who are they? US; EU; and UN. Please check the comment made by #6:
    Q.Who is the partner of Meles’s crime??????
    A. HIS MASTERS
    Q.who is whistel blower.
    A.HIS MASTER
    Q. where is the money
    A At his masters Banks

    If you eliminate Meles, the master able to generate another loyal to them not to suffering ethiopians or Aricans.
    Haile Seliase created by their (US & UN) image, after 50 years people of ethiopia say enough and overthrow him (taxi drivers and students).
    Mengistu created by Soviet Union, and lasted 17 year, then the people say enough; US and British accomedte him to loot enough money and let him go with facing any trial for his facistic and terror governance.
    Now ethiopians are facing a ruler who is put by US and UK; he is doing what he expected to do. If not he will will be displaced in no time. Because they do have the will and the power.
    The point is please know the source of the problems (identify it) and try to look the remedies.
    Egypt, Tunisia or Libya is not revolution; it is evolutionary movement; it will be (being) hijacked by supper power sooner or later.
    Thanks

  12. Anonymous on

    Fact finder,
    Here you go again, only concentrating on non-TPLF looters. The Sunshine Construction and other companies like them, wouldn’t have stolen a single penny, let alone billions without the cooperation and knowledge of the TPLF illegitimate criminal govt.
    Mr. Fact Finder,
    I’ve asked you before and you never answered me. Let me ask you once again: What are your findings on dictator Meles, his wife and the rest of the TPLF thugs? A disgraced looter is always a looter regardless one happen to be TPLF or non-TPLF!

  13. abbay on

    The same people who founded UN and Swiss bank are also the main investigator. what a joke…..

  14. Anonymous on


    Dear TAMRAT G. GIORGIS,

    Just for your information, Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrean are not even listed as top ten exporters of illicit capital (see list of countries below). Not to mention the fact that Ethiopia has been the largest receipient of western aid for centuries including food aid. This country is hopeless with no firm foundation for future economic development. On the other hand, the Eritrean are building their nation putting in place all the pillars for economic development and growth.

    The top exporters of illicit capital (cumulative outflows) are:
    1.Bangladesh, US$34.8 billion,
    2.Angola, US$34.0 billion
    3.Lesotho, US$16.8 billion
    4.Chad , US$15.4 billion
    5.Yemen, Republic of, US$12.0 billion
    6.Nepal , US$9.1 billion
    7.Uganda, US$8.8 billion
    8.Myanmar, US$8.5 billion
    9.Ethiopia, US$8.4 billion
    10.Zambia, US$6.8 billion

  15. pysco on

    why do they bring Eritrea here.Eritrea is a lost confused place run by
    a deranged physcopath worse than Somalia.It will never be a nation that
    have any meaning lost lost lost.For as Ethiopia my estimate was at least 10 billion looted by EFFORT Zenawi personal business and all the
    loot is 100% stached in China.the real enemy of Ethiopia is China

  16. Anonymous on

    8.4 BILLION IS JUST RECORDED BY UN as donated to EThiopia ,remember 50 KILLO DEPOSIT GOLD OF Ethiopias national bank ,the land sale deal between TPLF and Land grabbers.and all looting property and wealth of individuals and organizations from with in in a conservative estimates TPLF & ITS LOOTING WING –EFFORT (Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigrai) cleaned Ethiopia illegally well over 15 Billion Dollars,in due time we must gathers factial documents and will null and Void TPlF’s fake property land etc..ownesrships agreements and award the stolen property and wealth to the legal ownership -NOW TPLFites are in Honey moon with their DONORS but its Obvious the honey moon will fade off soon and will be exposed by their own masters -THE DONOR NATIONS -IMF and WB …We must all remember that Sadam Hussein once was the darling of the west -and we know what happen later on -So TPLF & CO is no diffrent than others ,Actually the others are their own wealthy and prosperous nations while TPLF is Beggar and the highest doner receiver in the history of Sub-Saharan Africa ,TPLF made EThiopia depend on BEGGING and DONATIONS ,just in 20 yrs

  17. TADESSE WORKU on

    ITS 8.4 BILLION—NOT 8 BILLION A BIG DIFFRENCE PLZ CORRECT IT -THX

  18. Evil cousins on

    #16 Anonymous,
    We are not talking about Eritreans here, but since you bring it up, you must know that one of the most racist #1 evil Isayass is the main cause of Ethiopia’s problems and Eritreans. Dictator Isayass is responsible for grooming and training his evil cousin Meles to be a cold-blooded killer and looter. And Ethiopians and Eritreans have been paying for it. Isayass and Meles are responsible for the deaths of so many young, strong and brilliant young Ethiopians.
    Some are born to be teachers, doctors, leaders, scientists, religious leaders and other helpful couriers, but the two heartless evil cousins were only born to bring horrors and to harm innocent people as Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, etc. May both burn in Hell for eternity.

  19. Fact finder on

    Anonymous here you go again!!!! the Defense lawyer of looters . i hope you remeber the day you posted this comment . when sunshine construction owner looting money and throwing expensive party worth $300000.00 dollars in the Mandarin hotel

    Anonymous says:
    I will be attending this event. What a beautiful hotel. I will wine and dine with one of the richest man in Ethiopia while you are outside trying to take pictures. Let me know when you take a picture though so I can smile. It sucks to be broke or not know a rich guy to get invited. You will get there one day when your uncle takes power, that is if you are alive by then.

    August 26th, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    all i can say to you is HODAM TERFERAF LEKAMI !!!!!! sooner or later samuel and a people like him will be exposed and we will bring them to justice !!!!

  20. Fact finder on

    I saw one of the well known looters Sunshine con. owner a month back in Addis and He was comparing the EPRDF and DERG regime . He was saying word to word ” in a DERG time i was bribing the derg officials in thousands of birr and never say anything . Now, i am bribing EPRDF with millions and openly asking me in millions an giving them in millions and the same time they’re harassing me like crazy . i cant event get road contract nor a land this days. I cant even work Thats why i transfered my position as CEO to someone else and the land to Accesses real-estate ” . He was calling different officials name and called them “SEGEBGEB” and trashing the entire EPRDF regime from the top to the bottom including minster of Ethiopian constriction development, Ethiopian road authority and the municipal of Addis Abeba. he said he knew all this is going to come and that’s why he was investing money outside of Ethiopia. It is unbelievable evidence of how corrupt this guy is and at the mean time he was very frustrated about the recent gossip around addis and the “harassment “.

    Anyway, long story short i will say to him what goes up it must come down …. so you dig your own hole……,you know what you did .i will say let your integrity judge you !!!! .

  21. Fact finder on

    I saw one of the well known looters Sunshine con. owner a month back in Addis and He was comparing the EPRDF and DERG regime . He was saying word to word ” in a DERG time i was bribing the derg officials in thousands of birr and never say anything . Now, i am bribing EPRDF with millions and openly asking me in millions an giving them in millions and the same time they’re harassing me like crazy . i cant event get road contract nor a land this days. I cant even work Thats why i transfered my position as CEO to someone else and the land to Accesses real-estate ” . He was calling different officials name and called them “SEGEBGEB” and trashing the entire EPRDF regime from the top to the bottom including minster of Ethiopian constriction development, Ethiopian road authority and the municipal of Addis Abeba. he said he knew all this is going to come and that’s why he was investing money outside of Ethiopia. It is unbelievable evidence of how corrupt this guy is and at the mean time he was very frustrated about the recent gossip around addis and the “harassment “.

    Anyway, long story short i will say to him what goes up it must come down …. so you dig your own hole……,you know what you did .i will say let your integrity judge you !!!!

  22. Lisaye on

    Ethiopians,honestly speaking,I am extremely angry at these filthy robbers as you are.What next?

    Our country will be left bare bone;I am deeply afraid,and I am right and the robbers are dead wrong.

    Eight Billion Dollars got sucked into the belly of these robbers while Ethiopians are struggling day and night for the past twenty years just a meal for a day;if,indeed they can aford.

    Ethiopians,we have already started the daunting job and we must finish it;we have to crush these robbers to their complete defeat.

    Ethiopians,I want you to get better at what you are either individually or collectively doing in ousting these robbers for once and for all;that is what am doing and doing to make free our people and country from the crushing jaws of these robbers.

  23. yibkachew on

    The killers and thiefs group have been able to get away with it,so now whome do you think they will afraid of?
    The poor society all the time have been forced and will be forced to serve them just to win the daily bread; even though they know it was robbed from the national asset.
    No body knows what time ethiopians will come to the point enough is enough.

  24. Yemane on

    I am afraid eight billion dollars is not a lot of money to Meles Zenawi and his clique. The Woyanes will continue stealing from the the poor people until they get eliminated from power.

  25. washoch nachu on

    I remember one proverb from my childhood. It is about loudness of a Drum. one day in community gathering, the drum ask why i am louder than anybody, and many tries to answer but failed, but somebody open the drum and found empty, then everybody got the answer that emptiness makes noise. you are empty minded thus why you always bark … I write three comments none is posted, where is it, እየጨህክ ትኖረታለህ እንደ ለመደህ ማንም የሚሰማችሁ የለም እንደ ድራሙ ከመጮህ በስተከር ምድረ ወራዳ ዝቓጮች የሰው በታች ናቹ

  26. Anon on

    EFFORT and Midroc are in total control of the national wealth. These include Mining, Agro Industries, Real state,etc.The Saudi owned Midroc,and Alhamudi as its point man ,and EFFORT using Tigray as its cover are part of the larger conspiracy that Egypt sponsored Shabia unwittingly imposeher Ethiopians through her surrogate and half blood bandas to illegally occupy our land. The diverting of this massive national wealth and illegal transfer of 8.4 billion is part of their plot. Shabia and her sponsors are bringing to pas their geo political strategy of Abi Tigray before our eyes.Who is to say these corporaations are subject to confirm tax regulation, or to be audited?
    In light of this fact does it makes sense some Ethiopian based political organizations to court relationship with the chief enemy of our country? Is there any difference between Eplf-Tplf?To me the only difference is the one is running the show against the will of Ethiopians, and the other either it is knocked out of competition, or willingly consented to the current arrangement of state of affairs as part of high state secret between the two. What must Ethiopians do? Avoid any form of contact, and all sorts of covert contamination with the malevolent Shabia, and Weyane.Unless we have such fixed attitude about our enemies, I don’t believe, we as a people will be able to free ourselves from these dual enmemies.Both are equally our enemies, and it is a contradiction to court one or the other as a friend.
    As to the loot, unless, we muster up our effort against these forces, Weyane will continue to divert massive amounts of wealth in to her hands in the coming years. EFFORT and MIdroc will continue to appropriate the entire economy if left unchecked .Here is some of the lists of business the run by the two giants.

    1-http://www.effortgroup.org/companies.htm

    2-http://www.midroc-ethiotechgroup.com/CEO’S%20OFFICE%20(CORPORATE)/ABOUT%20US/ABOUT%20US%20(CORPORATE).html

  27. Lemma on

    Ethiopia did not have much money between 1990 and 1996. So, the article should state that the years is between 1996 –> 2008

    TPLF consolidated all the economic engine of Ethiopia beginning 1996.

  28. Lemma on

    AIGAFORUM & BEN FIRST will not publish this article, ER and Ethiomedia did. I guess we know who is who.

  29. Sorie on

    Ethiopian people should claim this money by the help of international community and donors before they displace it.this a government or bunch of thief and gangs are robbing the country? shame shame on you TPLF

  30. goban gergo on

    The looters kept meles on power to loot nations property.Any one who fit with meles nor Adevocate or sypathize for this regim means, he/she is a part of looters and share ethiopian people while nations are in critical condtion

  31. washoch nachu on

    A kind of barking among each other, only can make you deaf, no one can hear you ….

  32. SELAMAWIT SOLOMON on

    ARE WE SERIOUSLY EXPECT TPLF MEDIA OUTLETS LIKE -AIGA FORUM ,ETHIOPIA FIRST,FANA RADIO OR ETHIOPIAN TV AND RADIO SERVIES TO REPORT TPLF’s CRIME ?????
    FOR THE SAKE OF FAIRNESS TO TPLF CADRES :-) WE MUST NOT EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

  33. leyikun on

    guys! don’t u have any knowladge when almost all highest woyane learn buisseness adminstration as soon as they got z power. For me, zat was z time i understatiood their interest gettting ready to loot z countrie’s wealth.

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