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School shown as private property in 106m afs bank loan

School shown as private property in 106m afs bank loan

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Apr 11, 2018 - 15:33

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A person registered a high school’s land in Kabul as his private property and used fake documents in obtaining 106 million afghanis bank loan, Pajhwok has learnt.

The Setara High School in Shash Darak area that falls in the 9th police district of Kabul is located close to the Presidential Palace and the Ministry of Defense in the heart of the capital city.

Safia Hayat, the principal of Setara High School, told Pajhwok Afghan News a person with fake documents had registered the school’s building and land as his personal property and then used it as guarantee to borrow a large amount of money from a private bank.

“The land of the school which is used as a guarantee in the bank’s loan belongs to the Ministry of Educationinfo-icon and Sayed Sharafuddin, a former attorney general, had endowed the school with the land few decades ago,” she said.

Hayat added the school in Bagh-i-Ali Mardaninfo-icon area was established in 1947 and then shifted to Shash Darak area after Sharafuddin endowed the school with his land in 1978. “This school has been here for around 40 years.”

However, she said: “A person named Haji Mohammad Rafi claims he has bought the school land from the heirs of Sayed Sharafuddin and he was able to borrow 106 million afghanis (around $2.6 million) from the Afghanistaninfo-icon Commercial Bank.

The Ministry of Education also said the school land belonged to it, but some figures were trying to usurp it.

MoE spokesman Kabir Haqmal endorsed Hayat’s account and said, “The bank did not see the physical location of the property (school) and did not contact the MoE for confirmation while giving loan to the person.”

“We have enough documents and proofs of the property of Setara High School, the ministry even spent more than $500,000 in two phases for reconstructioninfo-icon of the school’s building,” he said.

Ahmad Zamir Gawara, Kabul education director and Fazal Ahmad Haidari, education general manager at MoE, also said the school land belonged to the ministry and the person who claimed its ownership had misused it (in borrowing money).

The school’s building in a residential apartment is decaying despite being reconstructed several times.

Zahoor, a teacher at the Setara High School, said: “The land and the building that contains 10 rooms have been donated.

He said the roof of the building had previously completely collapsed but the Ministry of Education reconstructed it by adding some more rooms between 2014 and 2015.

Local residents’ views

Mohammad Azam Safi, one of the residents of locality, said: “My children and my neighbors’ many children have graduated from this school and many more are studying.”

He said the school building and the land had been donated and no could claim their ownership.

Mahboob Ahmadi, Shash Darak local council secretary, said: “We want the Ministry of Education and government leadership to prevent land grabbers and do not allow them to usurp more lands,” he said.

He said all residents of locality were ready to confirm the land had been donated and would not allow anyone to grab or sell the land.

Babrak Safi, the area representative, said some people trying to grab the school land because of its high price land.

He said a 100-square meter area in the vicinity of Setara High School was priced between $70,000 and $100,000

The buyer of the land

Haji Mohammad Rafi, who claims ownership of Sitara High School land, said he had obtained the consent of his partner, Haji Ghiasuddin, to proceed with their legal claim.

He said: “We purchased this one acre land from Sharafuddin’s father Nasruddin --- the real owner --- back in 2004 and 2007.”

Haji Rafi said it was in 2005 when their dispute started over the land with the Ministry of Education.

“The education ministry at that time sought two months time to hand over the land to us, but one year after, we even did not receive the rent.”

Now after one year, Haji Rafi said the Education Ministry was now not ready to surrender the land to them. He said Nasruddin’s son Sharafuddin had donated the land to the Ministry of Education after they purchased it.

Bank loan

Haji Rafi is yet to prove his ownership of the school land, but he has been able to obtain loan from a private bank.

Rafi acknowledged having pocketed the bank loan. He said: “Javed Andesh, owner of the Afghanistan Commercial Bank and Haji Ahmad Shah deceived my lawyer who worked in the bank at that time.”

“The two took $2.6 million loan based on land ownership documents for a commercial company Hamza Kakakhel.”

Haji Ahmad Shah Raka, head of the Hamza Kakakhel Company, confirmed Haji Mohammad Rafi’s claim and said: “I was Andesh’s employee. Andesh told me to get him $2.6 million loan for his company but when he took the money he is refusing to return it.”

Pajhwok tried to reach out to Haji Ghiuasuddin, the partner of Mohammad Rafi, but he lives abroad and could not be contacted.

Andesh rejects Rafi’s and his lawyer’s allegations

Javed Andesh, chief of the Afghanistan commercial bank, rejected Haji Rafi’s allegations and alleged that Rafi had not only cheated the Afghanistan Commercial Bank but other banks as well.  He said Rafi had not solved his problems with other banks since long.

Javed said Rafi was one of the main shareholders of the Afghanistan Commercial Bank and he had registered his assets in the name of his brother.

He called Rafi “a deceitful person” who used a land which had been dedicated to school 40 years ago.

Rafi made “fake documents” for the school land and took $ 26, 00000 loan from the bank, he added.

When the bank officials wanted to see the land, Haji Rafi told them there was a foreign guest house where they might not be allowed to take pictures or enter their premises, claimed Andesh.

Andesh said currently he owned 53 per cent of the bank’s shares and the rest belonged to Sayed Mohammad Sha and Haji Rafi who had registered his shares in his brothers’ names ---Aryan Azimi and Mohammad Salem Azimi.

Najibullah Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Afghan Private Banks also confirmed Haji Rafi has been active shareholder of the bank since the bank was called by another name.

Amiri did not provide information when asked about shares of the past and current chiefs.

Lawyers and illegal reading use of property document

Ainudin Bahadari, Lawyers Union of Afghanistan chief, said a disputed property could never be used for obtaining a mortgage loan.

“This is not possible, as long as all the legal procedures of the courts are in place," he said when asked what if the loan was not paid.

“No one, including the state, has the right to sell such land,” explained the lawyer.

Hajjinfo-icon Ministry rejects Rafi’s claims

A source in the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs said: “The claimant also has links in the ministry based on which he was able to obtain some documents showing the land is not donated to the school and does not belong the Sitara school.”

View of the Ministry of Justice as party in the case

Aman Rizat, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, told Pajhwok that the Ministry of Education (MoE) had registered the land in the name of Syed Nasruddin (father of Syed Sharafuddin) and Sharafuddin had then donated the land to Sitara High School.

“But now, two individuals namely Hajji Ghayasuddin and Hajji Rafi have presented documents claiming they had bought the land from the heir of Syed Nasruddin,” he said.

Rizat added: “The case is in the appellant court and the verdict may arrive soon.” He pointed out that the Justice Ministry had urged the Education Ministry to provide it more documents regarding the school’s land in order to defend the case.

In response to a request from the Ministry of Justice, MoE spokesman Kabir Haqmal had said: “We have sent a notice to the General Directorate of State Cases on March 11. In the notice it is said the Education Ministry owns the school land since 1358 solar yearinfo-icon and would be the owner forever.”

According to Haqmal, after documents and certificates of the MoE were torched in the Pamir Cinema area of Kabul in 1371 and 1372, some opportunists tried to usurp properties, including the Sitara school’s land.

Hajji Rafi said the Kabul primary court had authenticated their documents and decided in their favor (the claimants).

But Haqmal said the MoE would never allow usurpation of the school land and was determined to defend its right at any cost with full capacity.

Pajhwok tried to ask the prosecutors of the appellant court about the case, but they were not ready to respond.

mds/nh/pk/sa/ma

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