Ermias T. Amelga, an entrepreneur of several Ethiopian businesses and founder of Access Real Estate (ARE) S.C was arrested in December 2015 following his return from America to Ethiopia on February 19, 2015 after months of negotiation. He was promised that that he won’t be arrested. He was released after spending 80 days in the notorious Me’akelawi prison.
Auditors in 2012 found that ARE was unable to deliver over 2000 houses the company sold to home buyers. In 2013 Ermias left for the U.S.A. via another African country. It was after months of negotiation that Ermias returned to Ethiopia, when the government gave him exceptional immunity for one year and he proposed to deliver the houses.
Ermias studeid his undergraduate and postgraduate studied in the U.S., where he also worked in the U.S. finance industry for several years. Returning to Ethiopia in 1996 to start his own companies, Ermias has been famouly known for creating, funding and developing some innovative companies and ideas such as the first bottled water in Ethiopia Highland Water, Access Capital, profitable Access Bank, and Jano Music Band.
His first company was the Royal Crown Mineral Water Factory, which was liquidated soon after launch in late 1990s.
Now, in one of the first radio interviews since his release in Ethiopia with Sheger FM, Ermias emotionally reveals how his real estate business was “hijacked” by few people. In a nut shell, he states how a pro-government advertiser and newspaper editor, Samson Mammo, often accused of similar acts of defamation on various real estate businesses, and a top colonel of the Ethiopian Defence Forces, led to complication of the real estate business as well as affecting his life. The serving military officer’s company, which looked after the security of the real estates, demanded that Ermias pays 22 million Birr or risk the obliteration of the Access Real Estate. Pure extortion. Ermias refused to pay and the pro-government Ethio Channel Newspaper soon fasely published a report stating that Ermias had fled the country with the real estate money of over 2000 people. He said this has sparked the damage of his business and fame. He blames an unnamed colonel of the Ethiopian Defence Forces as the person behind all the complications of his business.
Similar cases of mafia like acts by senior officers of the Ethiopian Defence Forces, who are now practicing extortion, demanding shares from new businesses and at times forcibly stealing innovative business ideas and projects, is being widely reported. The insolvent Holland Car PLC and Hiber Sugar S. C. are among the many companies that have publicly revealed how high ranking officers of the Ethiopian Defence Forces and Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) bankrupted or destroyed their companies by demanding extortion and equal ownership of independent share companies.
The mafia group from the ENDF is the core of Ethiopia’s incumbent deep state!