News - Afghanistan
The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has announced a travel ban for all six officials of the Ministry of Urban Development who were recently suspended by President Ashraf Ghani over alleged massive corruption.
AGO officials told TOLOnews that it has assigned a team of investigators to probe the case, which is believed to be the largest corruption scandal in Afghanistan's history.
In a meeting with the concerned ministry officials on Thursday night, Ghani ordered suspension of six ministry officials on the charges of corruption and instructed AGO to begin investigations.
Ahmad Shah Hemat, the head of the central housing department; Mohammad Amin, the head of the real estate and accommodations department; Ahmad Nawaz Bakhtyari, the head of the housing enterprise department; Gul Rahim Zyarmal, the head of planning and project manager for the 5th Macrorayan; Sayed Amanullah Sadat, the head of the finance department; and Mohammad Amin Qane, the head of the apartments and rentals department were the six officials suspended on corruption charges.
"As per the instruction of the President and decision of the Attorney General's Office, all six suspects have been banned from travelling and their positions have been suspended. We have sent letters to intelligence agencies, border police and the Kabul Police headquarters," acting attorney general Noor Habib Jalal said in an interview with TOLOnews.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that besides these six officials, there are more high-ranking government officials involved in the case.
According to the reports, the money embezzled in the ministry projects have been invested in neighboring countries, especially Iran.
AGO officials, however, stated that the allegations would be clarified once the investigations are completed.
"We have assigned a team of three investigators. We will probably get a result until the end of this week," Jalal said.
Head of finance and budget commission of the Parliament, Sadeqi Zada Neeli, appreciated Ghani's decision in this respect but stressed the need for transparency in AGO investigations.
He called on the government to find out other government departments and ministries where secretive corruptions take place.
Neeli emphasized on transparent investigation of the case and demanded the government to not restrict its investigations only to the concerned ministry but assess the other ministries as well.
But the economists and financial auditors stress the need for finding the real elements behind these scandals.
"Those who have provided grounds for these embezzlements should also be arrested and brought to justice," economic expert Abdul Jabbar Safi said.
The six alleged corrupt officials are accused of taking bribes in exchange allotting houses, providing apartments to high-ranking government officials and constructing low-standard apartments.