The Federal High Court upheld the decision of the lower court against Xie Mengnan, a Chinese national, who was sentenced to serve three years of imprisonment after he was found guilty of attempting to smuggle 40,000 dollars to Khartoum, Sudan.
Mengnan tried to smuggle 40,000 dollars on May 6, 2010, exceeding the legal limit of 3,000 dollars without acquiring the necessary documentation, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) prosecutor alleged. The money was found concealed in three of ten coffee packs inside the bag that the defendant was carrying, the ERCA prosecutor stated.
He brought the money from Khartoum and was going back there the same day he arrived, the defendant argued. The money was kept inside the powder coffee packs as a precaution against thieves, the defense lawyer said. There was no criminal intent on the part of his client who does not know the laws of the country, the defense lawyer also argued.
The manner in which the crime was committed indicates that it was an intentional act on the part of the defendant, the first instance court held. The court found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to serve a three-year jail term, citing the maxim that ignorance of the law is no defence. The court also ordered the confiscation of the money.
Dissatisfied with the decision, the defendant appealed the case to the Federal High Court, which upheld the lower court’s ruling on July 1, 2010.
Source: Addis fortune