Lost Kabul Bank money being recovered: AGO
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Wednesday said efforts were being made to recover all the money lost to the infamous Kabul Bank scandal, revealing another two accused in the case had been referred to the primary court.
Basir Azizi, the AGO, spokesman told reporters in Kabul that a formal letter had been dispatched to the authorities concerned to freeze assets of 155 Kabul Bank borrowers and ban them from traveling abroad.
He said the AGO had made it clear that not a single penny looted from the once largest private bank would go unaccounted for and that the 155 defaulters should be barred from leaving the country and their assets be frozen.
The AGO spokesman told Pajhwok Afghan News that all those small and big debtors who failed to clear their dues had been barred from leaving the country.
He added the AGO had sent letters to municipalities and Da Afghanistan Bank branches, asking them to freeze assets of the defaulters.
“The defaulters are obliged to pay their debts. They can’t possess even a single afghani from the national coffers,” he remarked.
Once the country’s largest lender, the bank plunged into deep crisis in 2009, when it lost $987 million in fraudulent property deals, massive off-book loans and credit to fake corporations, prompting the government to take over the bank’s affairs and change its name to New Kabul Bank. The government had to finance a bailout of $825 million to the bank.
Of $987 million squandered money, the government says it has so far recovered $437 millions. Twenty-four defaulters have paid their debts until now.
Some of the major shareholders including Mahmood Karzai, Gulbahar Habibi, Hassin Fahim, Daud Nassir, Mohammad Anwar Jigdalak, Mohammad Tahir Zahir, Mahboob Frotan, Mohammad Ismail Ghazanfar and Amrullah have started paying their debts in installments. According to the AGO, the assets of these individuals are not frozen anymore.
In October 2014, the president ordered reopening of the Kabul bank case and reinstating its assets.
Prior to Ghani’s order, the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption and Evaluation Committee revealed that the New Kabul Bank had lost around 47 million dollars during the past four years.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.