14 introduced to attorney in wheat theft case
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Fourteen members of a community council in the Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province were on Tuesday referred to the Attorney Office for allegedly stealing wheat meant for distribution to poor families, officials said.
The wheat was to be distributed to 3,000 poor families in the district, but more than half the assistance went missing, deputy provincial council head, Fazal Bari Fayyaz, told a news conference in Lashkargah. He said an investigation revealed the council members were involved in the theft.
Those introduced to the AG Office included the council head, Haji Barakzai, and 13 other members. Another member, Abdul Ahad Helmandwal, also head of the reform council in Lashkargah, had a share in the wheat.
Fayyaz said 200 tonnes of the 300 tonnes wheat donated by India had been missing, adding the suspects might be involved in other such unlawful acts.
Adviser to governor on development, Wahidullah Ulfat, told Pajhwok Afghan News all members of the council had been briefed about their authority. He said the accused members would be brought to justice and their membership cancelled if proved guilty.
But Abdul Ahad Helmandwal dismissed the accusations as unfounded, saying he had not taken home a single sack of the wheat. He accused senior government officials and provincial council members of stealing the assistance.
The community council director Haji Barakzi acknowledged some of the wheat had been distributed to poor families in villages on their own without permission from the officials concerned. He said some sacks were given away to destitute families and the remaining brought back to the warehouse.
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