Watchdog seeks clarity on Central Bank cases

KABUL (TOLOnews): A Kabul-based monitoring organization criticized a delay in the assessment of corruption cases in the state-owned Central Bank, saying the issue needs to be made clear as quickly as possible.

Five officials of the bank, including the deputy governor, Wahid Nosher, were removed from their posts all in less than two weeks in May.

The acting governor of the bank, Ajmal Ahmadi, in a tweet on July 1 said the first four officials were removed based on the decision of the Central Bank’s Supreme Council “in connection with seven corruption cases, three notifications, and two warnings.”

He said the case of the “former” deputy governor Wahid Nosher was sent to the Presidential Palace.

Based on Article Seven of Da Afghanistan Bank Law (Central Bank), the bank is led by a group known as the Supreme Council, which has seven members. This includes the governor – who also heads the Supreme Council– the first deputy, and five other members (including a second deputy).

Article Seven of the law also says that all members of the Supreme Council shall be appointed by the president “with the consent of the parliament.”

Each member of the council can serve a five-year term that is extendable, based on this law.

Article 12 of the law says that the governor, the first deputy governor, and any other member of the Supreme Council, shall be suspended or removed by the president.

Sources told TOLOnews that Ahmadi in a new move has dismissed at least 10 heads of departments, deputies and managers of the bank. Among those dismissed recently is the head of the money intelligence department of the Central Bank, the payments director, the deputy head of Islamic banking department, the deputy head of financial monitoring, the deputy head of credit stability, the manager of Central Bank services, and the manager of monetary institutions assessment.

Nasir Taimuri, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan, said “reforms should be carried out through consultation with involved sides, with transparency and accountability.”

“We cannot call personal and symbolic moves reforms,” he added.

“The law should find its place in public service institutions. Violating the law will reduce the trust of government officials,” said Aimal Ashoor, former manager of the head office of the Central Bank, referring to recent dismissals in the bank.

The Central Bank did not comment despite repeated attempts by TOLOnews.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office said its assessments on the cases of corruption charges in the Central Bank has started.

The AGO spokesman Jamshid Rasuli said: “The cases have been handed to the relevant attorney.”

Critics said that the recent issues in the Central Bank will affect people’s trust in the monetary system and that it needs to be solved as quickly as possible.

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