111m afs Takhar municipality’s revenue missing

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Taloqan city’s municipality lost 111 million afghanis revenue as the money ended up in private pockets, Pajhwok Afghan News learned reliably. According to documents available with Pajhwok, the incumbent mayor of Taloqan City, the capital of northern Takhar province, and eleven other employees are accused of massive corruption.

The accused include mayor Azizurrahman Maqsoudi, Municipality Admin Sultan Mohammad, General Revenue Director Ahmad Madani, Revenue Collection Director Syed Mohammad, License Issuing Director Ramazan, Cleanliness Affairs Director Syed Karim, Procurement Director Nazeefullah, First Municipality District Director Mohammad Esa, Fifth Municipality District Director Shapur, Accountant Director Abdul Majeed, Municipality Deputy Finance Director Hayatullah  and Monitoring Deputy Director Mohammad Yaqoub. In 2018, according to reports, a 108-page document about alleged corruption in Taloqan Municipality was referred to the Attorney General Office for investigation.

Two pages of the document read: “According to reports and evidence, officials of the Taloqan Municipality had embezzled major portion of the Municipality revenue from 2009 to 2017 and misused their authorities.” It also said the alleged revenue embezzlement at Taloqan Municipality was probed by different visiting delegations in 2012, 2015 and 2017 and the investigation result showed that 111.2 million afs revenue from market lase, tax collection, road construction contracts, stalls, cinema and apartments fares did not land in the government treasury instead to went to private pockets.

According to reports, the amount was kept in four Takhar banks. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) also sent a letter to the Attorney General Office (AGO) in which a copy of 108-page document was attached. The letter asked AGO to investigate the corruption related document of Taloqan Municipality.

Taloqan Mayor acknowledged corruption related developments: Taloqan Mayor Azizurrahman Maqsoudi said that NDS accused them of corruption and dispatched some documents to the AGO, but they did not provide any evidence.

He said: “NDS failed to provide evidence to the AGO regarding corruption in the Municipality, therefore we are free and the case is closed.” Pajhwok asked for a copy of his acquittal order from the AGO, but he did not reply for next 45 days and finally said: “I have sent an individual to Kabul to get the acquittal letter.” Maqsoudi said he handed over 1,500-page document to the AGO to prove his innocence.

A well-placed source in Takhar NDS office said a corruption related case existed but they were not authorised to disclose it. Pajhwok shared the matter with the AGO as well. AGO Spokesperson Jamsheed Rasouli responded after one week that he has no information related to Takhar municipality corruption issue.

Abdul Qayyoum Nizami, head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, said the Takhar Municipality Corruption case had reached them. The government often identifed the fight against corruption as a priority and renews its commitment in this regard at different forums.