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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid