Over $480m embezzled Kabul Bank money recovered
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Monday claimed recovering over $480 million embezzled money of Kabul Bank money with 50 suspects had been detained in this connection.
Speaking to reporters, acting Attorney General Noor Habib Jalal said of 227 accused, 50 had been detained by police while police had been raiding to nab the rests of the suspects.
Efforts were on 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.
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 frozen.
Earlier 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 exchequer,” 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, Gul Bahar 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 during the past four years.
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