Ex-bank chief, 12 officials held for graft charges
KABUL (PAN): The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has arrested 13 people, including a former chief of the state-run Pashtani Bank, on the charge of embezzling government funds worth $35 million (1.7 billion afghanis), an official said on Sunday.
Those detained included Hayatullah Diani, the bank’s former chief, and several officials of the Urban Development Ministry, Abubakar Rafi, AGO’s anti-graft department head, told a news conference in Kabul.
Under the pretext of development projects, $35 million were loaned to 70 construction companies, which were neither registered with the Ministry of Finance, nor with the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), he explained.
Land documents submitted by firm owners as guarantee for the loans were faked, he said, adding the scam surfaced after a Ministry of Finance team launched a probe into the bank’s $132 million deposits.
The team disclosed 13 names involved in the scam to the AGO after completing their investigation.
Last year, Kabul Bank, country's largest private lender, faced grave financial crisis due to unauthorized loans and other anomalies.
Later, the Ministry of Finance accepted some shares of the bank, currently operating under the name of New Kabul Bank.
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