50pc of police personnel in Helmand non-existent: Kentoz
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The police chief on Wednesday claimed 50 percent of police in southern Helmand province only existed on papers and their salaries went into private pockets.
Brig. Gen. Aqa Noor Kentoz told a press conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, that reports about ‘ghost’ personnel in the Helmand police force were real.
He said 50 percent police in Helmand were non-existent and those existed were in the service of high ranking government officials. He said salaries for such personnel were pocketed by private individuals, but named no one.
Kentoz said he launched investigation into the existence of ghost police personnel from the day one of his appointment as the police chief and he had so far sacked 200 policemen.
He said 80 of the sacked police had been serving with generals, lawmakers and others as personal servants.
He said former police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Rahman Sarjang had 270 police who actually did not exist but their salaries were paid.
He said 500 national police personnel existed in the books in Marjah district but on the ground there were only 150. Another 450 local police personnel did not appear for job.
He said there were about 10,000 national and local police personnel on the payrolls in Helmand but half of them non-existent, but all received salaries and other incentives.
He said not only salaries of these personnel would be stopped, but legal action would also be initiated against them.
“I don’t afraid of anyone. I will not accept pressure. I will work until my last day here, but I don’t want to go from this province with a bad name,” Kentoz said.
He said he wanted to discharge all ghost personnel and replace with young officials to complete the police strength and send them to the trenches against the armed opponents.
The Helmand police chief the eight-month-old siege of Marjah district had been broken and the highway to the district had been reopened and work on the establishment of security posts was underway.
He said the second plan was to conduct operations in all parts of Marjah and in the third plan, in some parts of Nad Ali district and all parts of Babaji area of Lashkargah to bring these areas under government control.
Kentoz said police well coordinated with other security organs and police and army personnel worked together.
He said weapons with police did not match those with the insurgents, but the Afghan National Army had better weapons and security forces could jointly suppress the enemy.
President Ashraf Ghani, who arrived in Helmand two days ago, also made a mention of corruption in the province and said if the former police chief, Abdul Rahman Sarjang, was found guilty of corruption he would be sentenced to 20 years in jail.
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