“Billions of dollars” worth equipment at an abandoned US base in Paktika province in the east of Afghanistan have been “stolen” by local officials and some lawmakers after the camp was handed to Afghan forces in 2014, the provincial governor Mujib Rahman Samkanai claimed.
The Provincial Reconstruction Team’s (PRT) base named Camp Kearney is located a five-minute drive east of the governor’s compound on the way to Urgun district which is another major city of Paktika.
The governor said each and every official have taken their part from the remains of the base after the US forces handed the installation to the local forces.
“There was equipment worth seven billion dollars at the PRT base and all of them were looted,” the governor said. “Former governors, commanders, mayors, directors, parliament members all are involved in this act.”
Samkanai, who took his office as governor of Paktika four months ago, did not name any specific official who according to him were involved in the case.
“They entered the PRT base and looted it. Based on my information, they even looted locked containers full of computers, weapons, and even Humvees and Pickup vehicles had existed at the base,” Samkanai said.
Paktika Police Chief Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai, meanwhile, admitted that military equipment is missing.
“I have shared the issue with the Ministry of Interior and the issue was also discussed in the provincial administration session and was also discussed in the coordination council that old equipment is on the verge of destruction, so let’s use the equipment for strengthening our strongholds instead of being destroyed by dust,” said Lewanai.
One Paktika resident, who is familiar with the base, said there is a need for clarification on the issue by local officials.
“In the end of 2013 and 2014, American forces left the base and handed equipment worth nearly $8 billion to the Afghan government but after their withdrawal from the base, most of the equipment were looted and this all happened under the administration of former governor Mohibullah Samim and other high-ranking officials,” Paktika resident Yaqub Manzoor claimed.
“According to fresh information, equipment worth $1billion still exist at the base and the rest of are either broken, looted or stolen. There is also some information that some Humvees have been sent and sold to Pakistan as iron parts,” said Yaqoub Manzor a resident.