USAID ex-employee held on embezzlement charges
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan National Police (ANP) working with American agents arrested an Afghan man on charges of stealing more than a half million dollars from an agricultural development fund supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The money was insured, and there was no actual loss of US taxpayer funds, a statement by the USAID said on Monday.
The statement said that the ANP made the arrest on April 2 in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, along with agents from the USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG). The arrest followed a long-running joint investigation by Afghan law enforcement agencies, USAID OIG and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
“This arrest demonstrates effective partnership between US and Afghan authorities can help ensure those who seek to divert assistance from the Afghan people are held to account,” USAID Acting Inspector General Michael Carroll said.
The suspect in custody is Abdul Khalil Qadery, a former employee of Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), an international company based in Bethesda Maryland. DAI is implementing the USAID Agricultural Credit Enhancement project and has fully cooperated with the investigation.
Qadery allegedly embezzled funds sent to the USAID-supported Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), by making a wire transfer equivalent to $539,000 to an Afghanistan International Bank account set up under a fictitious name, it added.
He is in police detention in Kabul and faces a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and fines. Qadery’s alleged embezzlement would also violate US law, and subject him to potential prosecution by law enforcement authorities in the US.
USAID established the id="mce_marker"00 million ADF program in 2010 to help Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) support small farmers with loans or grants. These farmers repay the loans after harvest.
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