- Special Pages
KABUL: An Afghan anti-corruption watchdog yesterday criticised court verdicts handed down for a $900m fraud that caused Kabul Bank, the country’s largest bank, to collapse in 2010.
The foreign-funded Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) said the court’s action was inadequate in light of the scale of the scandal.
Judges this month jailed two bank executives for five years and delivered 18 other guilty verdicts, but the MEC said that they had failed to consider much of the complex financial evidence at the heart of the case.
It added that millions of dollars of missing cash would likely never be found as MEC recommendations calling for reform of government bodies and legal authorities had been ignored.
The collapse of Kabul Bank exposed massive high-level corruption in Afghanistan.
“Almost a billion dollars disappeared from Kabul Bank,” Drago Kos, Chairman of the MEC, told reporters. “This was an organised criminal group who intentionally stole money.
“Kabul Bank represents much of what is wrong in Afghanistan and its fight against corruption.”
The fraud saw fake companies given loans and lenders’ cash spirited abroad — sometimes in airline food trays — to buy homes in Britain, Dubai, Switzerland and the United States.