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Taliban investigating bank accounts of former Afghanistan officials

AFP

clock 2 min read

Former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani gestures at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on December 14, 2015.
Wakil Kohsar/AFPFormer Afghan president Ashraf Ghani gestures at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on December 14, 2015.

Afghanistan is currently battling a large-scale cash crisis as institutions cut access to funding

The Taliban are investigating the accounts of former high-ranking Afghan government members to check for ill-gotten gains, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation may lead to the freezing of assets and accounts of former civil servants, an official at Da Afghanistan Bank told AFP, asking not to be named.

A private bank manager confirmed a team of "Taliban auditors" was deployed to the organization to check the accounts of selected former government officials.

Former president Ashraf Ghani was accused of taking millions with him when he fled to Abu Dhabi as the Taliban entered Kabul. Ghani has denied the claims and says he is ready to prove his innocence.

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On Tuesday, several Taliban officials posted a video on their social media accounts to show millions in cash and gold allegedly recovered from the Panjshir residence of former vice president Amrullah Saleh. The video, however, could not be independently verified.

The investigation into possible illegal assets comes as Afghanistan is in the grip of a major cash crisis, with people limited to withdrawing the equivalent of just $200 a day from personal accounts in queues that last hours.

Afghans are selling their household goods to raise money for essentials, and bustling second-hand markets have mushroomed in most urban centers.

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have halted Afghanistan's access to funding, while the United States has also frozen cash held in its reserve for Kabul.