4 Helmand officials detained on graft charges
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Four officials of the Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled Department of southern Helmand province have been detained on charges of stealing 400 million afghanis ($6.25 million) and $1.5 million from a project, an official said on Sunday.
The four officials allegedly embezzled the amounts from “MC project” for the families of martyrs and disabled, regional detective officer at the Ministry of Interior (MOI), 1st Lt. Abdul Zahir, told Pajhwok Afghan News. He said the four accused were arrested on Saturday by a special force of the ministry.
The officials had been accused of receiving money from the project and distributing it among themselves and giving a part to Taliban militants, he said. He said the labour department director had made 200 fake cards of martyrs’ families and people with disables for himself.
“The daughter of one of the officials at the department has 50 cards and each of the department officials have 10 cards,” he said, adding some high ranking officialswere putting pressure on them to release the detained officials.
“Each of the department employee has constructed their own buildings, but we are deprived of our rights,” a disabled person, Nazar Khan, said.
“My husband died four years ago. I prepared affidavit of his martyrdom, but I haven’t received any aid so far,” a widow, Bas Bibi, said.
However, Labour and Social Affairs Director Mohammad Nadir Watanwal strongly rejected the allegations.
He said families of the martyrs and people with disabilities received their salaries through bank accounts so there was no question of embezzlement.
None of his department employees has fake card of martyrs or disabled, he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.