Attorney General Still Grappling With Two Major Corruption Cases

The Attorney General’s Office has yet to conclude investigations into the remaining debt owned by Kabul Bank defaulters and the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars by Ministry of Urban Development & Housing Affairs officials.

The Kabul Bank still has 55 defaulters for whom the government has issued travel bans, but remain at large, without having paid back what they owe. However, on Monday, the Attorney General’s Office announced that the police arrested two of the defaulters at the airport while they were seeking to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Two of the defaulters of the Kabul Bank on whom a travel ban was slapped have been arrested at the airport,” Attorney General spokesman Basir Azizi said on Monday. “They owe 12,000 USD debt,” he added.

In addition, the Attorney General’s Office has said that its probe into the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars by Ministry of Urban Development & Housing Affairs officials is near completion and that the results will be communicated to the public in full.

Regarding the embezzlement case, Azizi indicated the initial findings of probe suggest more than just the six officials may have been involved. The case largely turns on alleged corruption in the ministry’s contracting and licensing processes.

Previously, three of the officials charged in the Ministry of Urban Development & Housing Affairs case tried to flee the country, but were arrested by Afghan forces in Shighnan district of northern Badakhshan province.

The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee has urged the Attorney General’s Office to maintain its neutrality and not succumb to political pressures in pursuing the two investigations. “We want the Attorney’s Office to investigate the case with neutrality and transparency and not to be influenced by pressures from inside the government and the lawbreakers,” said Ahmad Rashid Behroz, Chief Executive of the corruption watchdog.

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