ANA staff accused of seeking bribes from truckers
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Truckers accuse Afghan National Army (ANA)’s civilian employees with the 215th Maiwand Military Corps of seeking bribes from them. But an ANA official rejects the allegation as untrue.
The 215th Maiwand Military Corps officials are stationed in the Washer district near a base of international troops along the Kandahar-Herat highway in southern Helmand province.
Sher Ahamd, a driver who supplies logistics for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), alleged ANA’s civilian staff had consistently been asking truckers for illegal gratification.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News ANA staff had established a toll plaza in front of the military base and charged a $20.22 (1,000afs) tax from each truck. A similar tax is paid to the office concerned in Kandahar City and Greshk district.
He alleged the corps had illegally set up the toll plaza and they had no right to realise levies from truckers. He warned the drivers would stop carrying supplies for foreign troops if the practice was not stopped.
Another driver, Amanullah, also confirmed the problem, saying vehicles were not allowed until the money was paid. He complained they could not afford to meet the illegal demands of ANA employees.
Mohammad Daud Noorzai, the Washer district chief, confirmed the problem, the ANA civilian officials had no coordination with the district administration. “No one is allowed to realise illegal taxes from truckers,” he said, adding the issue had not been shared formally with the district officials.
Syed Malik, the 215th Military Corps commander, acknowledged the establishment of the withholding tax office in front of the military corps. He explained the office had jointly been set up by the transport department and the municipality -- not by the ANA.
Previously, he recalled, the office was situated on the Kandahar-Herat highway. It was relocated in compliance with orders from the governor’s house.
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