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$1.5M in cash seized at Mogadishu airport

Somalia has tightened security at the Mogadishu International Airport after the Al-Qaeda linked Al Shabab group bombed a Somali airliner Daallo which made an emergency landing with a gaping hole on its side in February

by Judy Maina, judy.maina@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – Somali custom officials intercepted and seized over $1.5 million of undeclared cash hidden in a hand luggage from a traveler at the Mogadishu airport Thursday, one of the largest discoveries by security forces who seized illegal cash being smuggled into the country before, officials said.

Officials said that the money was seized after a passenger carrying a suspicious luggage was stopped upon his arrival at the airport and was sweating profusely” as he passed through customs with the luggage.

Mogadishu's new airport terminal
Mogadishu’s new airport terminal

Security agents who searched through the luggage found piles of money stacked inside the bag.

The man who was reportedly heading to Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway Somaliland republic at the time of the arrest is being held at custody in Mogadishu.

Officials did not say the number of people involved.

Somalia has tightened security at the Mogadishu International Airport after the Al-Qaeda linked Al Shabab group bombed a Somali airliner Daallo which made an emergency landing with a gaping hole on its side in February.

With the help of the Turkish government, the government has since deployed modern additional armed officers and modern screening system to help passengers move them through lines faster under a proposal endorsed by the president.

The impoverished horn of Africa nation is locked in a deadly war with al-Shabab  group which is waging a deadly guerilla warfare across large parts of the country.

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