Ayele Debela, a.k.a IMF, died in prison on Sunday, July 7.
Ayele was sent away for 25 years to prison on allegations of involvement in illegal banking and money laundering and had been detained at the Kality correctional facility. The infamous loan shark who was in custody for about four years, has been seriously ill on several occasions, according to the information obtained from his family.
Ayele was one of the 10 businessmen involved in a June 2009 crackdown by the Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority (ERCA) in relation to money laundering, illegal banking and tax evasion. Judges at the Federal High Court, 11th Criminal Bench, found him guilty in May 2010 on charges of 10 counts.
Not only was he sentenced to serve 25 years in jail, but his properties were also confiscated, including shares at Nib International Bank. He was further subjected to a 130 million birr fine.
Appeals were filed to the Supreme Court, both by ERCA’s prosecutors, who demanded that the fine should be as high as 450 million birr, and the defendant’s lawyer – for the case to be dropped altogether.
His funeral service was held on Tuesday July 9, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Ayele is survived by his daughter, Hirut.