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Alleged charcoal smugglers caught

Author : | Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two people have been arrested for allegedly illegally exporting charcoal worth millions of dollars to Sudan.

The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment, Joseph Africano, says it was discovered that the suspects were in a group operating under a company called Anyiech Trading and Investment Limited.

They claimed the company was registered in 2015.

The two men are: Kur Aguto, a South Sudanese national; and Kamal Adam, a Sudanese. They said they were working for one Mohamed Abdallah in Khartoum.

The undersecretary says the group collects charcoal and transports it to Khartoum, where they are exported to countries like Saudi Arabia.

In Juba, a bag of charcoal is sold at roughly $5, but Mr Africano says the same bag is sold at about $150 in Dubai.

“Now the price of charcoal outside is even more than the price of crude oil,” he told the media in Juba this afternoon. “If these millions were supposed to be our own people who are trading in it, that money would come back to the country.”

Mr Africano also said the suspects were dealing with their partners from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

In May 2015, the Ministry of Environment issued an order banning the illegal cutting of trees and exporting of logs and charcoal.

Mr Africano said the case will be taken to the Ministry of Justice to decide on the punishment.

The accused men at the office of the Undersecretary of Environment before they were driven to a police station in Juba.

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