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KABUL: The Afghan government urged Western nations yesterday to help recover millions of dollars smuggled abroad in what it called the “largest and most complex financial crime in the history” of the country.
A court in Kabul on Tuesday jailed 20 people, including two senior executives, for their roles in the $900m fraud that caused the collapse of Kabul Bank in 2010.
Cash stolen from the bank through fake loans was used to buy property in Britain, Dubai, Switzerland and the United States, and the finance ministry said it was determined to recover the losses.
“With these verdicts we now expect our international partners to assist us in the confiscation and return of the stolen assets that are deposited or invested in different Western countries,” a statement said.
The bank’s former chairman, Sher Khan Farnoud, and its former CEO Khalilullah Ferozi, were given five-year jail terms. Eighteen other officials were also convicted.
Authors of an independent inquiry into the fraud complained that the sentences were too light and that some of those convicted had little or no involvement.
A brother of President Hamid Karzai and a brother of Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim were shareholders in the bank and are alleged to be linked to the scandal. They were not charged. AFP