News - Afghanistan
The president of rescued and rebadged Kabul Bank – New Kabul Bank – was accused in court on Saturday of abetting an illegal money transfer on the night he was appointed president of the crisis-riddled lender.
The head of the preliminary court of the Independent General Directorate of Fighting Bribery and Corruption said that the same night that Massoud Moosa Ghazi was named president of the New Kabul Bank, US$5.8 million was transferred to Dubai illegally.
"The same night of appointing Mr. Ghazi as the new president of New Kabul Bank, $5.8 million was transferred to Dubai from the former Kabul Bank. This would have not happened if Mr. Ghazi showed responsibility, went to the bank, and blocked the money," said head of the preliminary court Sayed Ahmed Shahm.
Ghazi, who was selected president of Kabul Bank after it was bailed out by the Afghan government, rejected the accusation.
"The day I was appointed as the president of New Kabul Bank, work procedures that I had to do were not completed, and this money was transferred to out of the country before I joined Kabul Bank. I have had no role in this," he told the court.
Muhibullah Safi, the former vice president of the Central Bank, also stands accused of involvement in Kabul Bank's near-collapse in 2010.
Now president of Bank-e Millie, Safi said any Central Bank connection to the embezzlement and fraud of almost $900 million out of Kabul Bank rested with the Central Bank president.
"All the competency was with the president of the Central Bank, Mr. Qadir Fetrat. All the responsibilities and competencies were in his hands. There should be no accusations on me such as involvement in the crisis of Kabul Bank. I strongly reject the accusations," he told the court.
The court closed with no conclusion. The next session will be tomorrow.
The special court on the Kabul Bank crisis is seeking to ascertain the involvement of around 22 people in the massive losses that almost saw the bank collapse before the Afghan government bailed it out in 2010.