MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has ordered the country’s central bank governor to hold back $9.6 million intended to returned to Unted Arab Emirates (UAE) hours after prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble pledged to the funds to the Gulf nation.
In April 2018, a cargo plane from Dubai carrying the money was confiscated by Somali government at Aden Adde Airport, a move which dented the diplomatic ties between Mogadishu and Dubai.
The cash was confiscated by the security officials while the plane was allowed to take off back to UAE.
The money was deposited at Somali Central Bank until an investigation is complete.
In a sharp rejoinder to the PM’s statement, Farmaajo termed the money illicit, saying the money brought into the country illegally.
“H.E @M_Farmaajo President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, orders Governor of the Central Bank @CBSsomalia against releasing illicit money, 9.6M USD which was seized by our gallant Somali Security forces to any entity which seeks claim, due to its illegal entry into our nation,” the presidential palace Communications Director Abdirashid Mohamed Hashi said on Twitter.
The development comes hours after PM Roble announed plans to revert over $9 million to the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
Roble said move would enhance the diplomatic relations between the countries.
“A new dawn of normalizing relations. After a period of cold relations, Somalia & UAE are now on a progressive path to solve their differences & resume the brotherly ties between the 2 countries. PM Mohamed Hussien Roble tells that Somalia will give back to UAE the seized cash in 2018,” said government spokesman Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu.