News / Asia

Karzai Bans US Advisers From Afghan Central Bank

Afghan soldiers chat in front of the main office of Kabul Bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 1, 2010.
Afghan soldiers chat in front of the main office of Kabul Bank in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 1, 2010.

A new report says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has banned U.S. Treasury advisers from the country's central bank, where they had been working to prevent the flow of money from getting into the wrong hands.

The audit by the U.S. special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction, which was released Wednesday, says the ban has been in place since May.  The report adds the U.S. Treasury has no plans to re-engage at Afghanistan's central bank because working conditions for the U.S. advisers have become "hostile."

Corruption allegations

Acting Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Herbert Richardson said Wednesday the United States has poured billions of aid dollars into a country "plagued by corruption, insurgency, and the narcotics trade."

He added that "it is essential that we use all available tools to ensure that U.S. dollars are protected from fraud and diversion to the insurgency."

The audit says President Karzai's ban on U.S. advisers is just one of several examples of the Afghan government's lack of cooperation on international efforts to improve Afghanistan's financial sector.  The report cites unwillingness of the country's attorney general to prosecute those suspected of financial crimes.

Former bank official fears for his life

The country's central bank has been at the center of controversy since its former head resigned last month and fled to the United States. Abdul Qadir Fitrat told VOA his life was in danger from those he tried to prosecute for "stealing millions" from Kabul Bank.

Afghanistan's largest private lender lost more than $900 million in funds and nearly collapsed last year due to alleged mismanagement, cronyism and questionable lending.

The Afghan government said Fitrat was partially responsible for the scandal, which prompted the International Monetary Fund and some international donors to suspend aid to the country.

Tracking the money

The U.S. Congress has appropriated over $70 billion since 2002 to improve security and development in Afghanistan.  The audit by the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction says efforts to track U.S. dollars and other international aid have been hampered by the Afghan government.

U.S. officials say millions of dollars in cash payments flow through the international airport in Kabul.  The audit notes that Afghan officials delayed for months the installation of cash counting machines at the airport, and that the serial numbers on cash disbursed to Afghan contractors and to recipients of U.S. aid payments are still not being recorded.

The report also says that Afghan officials continue to allow VIPs to bypass the main security and customs screenings without verifying their declared cash with currency counting machines.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid