Afghanistan

SIGAR report says cash taken by Ghani ‘did not exceed $1m’

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (TOLOnews): The final report on the transfer of funds by Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan, while he was fleeing the country, has been made public by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
According to the report, this number did not exceed $1 million and may have been closer in value to $500,000.

“Although SIGAR found that some cash was taken from the grounds of the palace and loaded onto President Ghani’s evacuation helicopters, evidence indicates that this number did not exceed $1 million and may have been closer in value to $500,000. Most of this money was believed to have come from several Afghan government operating budgets normally managed at the palace,” the report reads.

SIGAR’s report says that a lot of money was left in government buildings, including those of the president and national security, and has disappeared.

“SIGAR also identified suspicious circumstances in which approximately $5 million in cash was accidentally left behind at the presidential palace. Some or all of this money likely belonged to President Ghani or the government of the United Arab Emirates. Some or all of it was also supposedly divided by members of the Presidential Protective Service after the helicopters departed but before the Taliban captured the palace,” the report reads.

SIGAR further added that former president Ashraf Ghani refused to be interviewed, and his attorney answered only 6 questions out of 56.

“On March 14, 2022, SIGAR sent 56 written questions to President Ghani through his attorney concerning these theft allegations and other matters related to SIGAR’s congressionally mandated examination of the Afghan government’s collapse. On July 28, 2022, through his attorney, President Ghani provided answers to only six of those 56 questions,” according to the report.

The Islamic Emirate commented on the issue: “Regarding the country’s assets, whether it be money or equipment and facilities, all the items and materials associated to “Baitul-Mal” are all under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Emirate and are maintained in the government’s treasury,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

“We hope that such cases will be investigated by the international organizations so that these funds will be returned to the national treasury,” said political analyst Mujtaba Kakar.

SIGAR began its investigations after Ashraf Ghani was accused by the Russian embassy of transferring millions dollars as he fled Afghanistan.

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The Frontier Post