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South Africa arrests two persons smuggling $500K to Dubai

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South Africa’s Revenue Service has arrested two persons after $568,489 (R6.7m) of undeclared currency was seized in baggage checked-in for a flight from Johannesburg to Dubai.

“Customs Officials at OR Tambo International Airport intercepted two passengers travelling to Dubai as they were about to board their flight [on Thursday],” the SA Revenue Service’s acting spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi said on Sunday.

An inspection of their checked-in luggage found numerous brown envelopes stuffed with a total of US $568 480 in various denominations, placed in between clothing items.

The passengers were taken to the police station and a criminal case has been opened.

Mkosi said further details about the passengers could not be revealed at this stage, as the case was “very sensitive”.

The interception was part of ongoing, “wider investigations” into a syndicate, he said.

Dubai is renowned for apparently being a tax haven.

The city has most recently been linked to the controversial Gupta family, and a News24 investigation in 2017 uncovered a convoluted network of shell companies that the family used to conduct business there.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.

“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”

It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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