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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid