Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Afghanistan: Embezzlement brought down largest Afghan bank

A new report commissioned by the Afghan Finance Ministry says deliberate deception and systematic failure led to the embezzlement of more than $900mn from Kabul Bank, Afghanistan's largest bank.

The report also says the scandal, which saw a small group of well-connected Afghans become extremely wealthy, will cost the country an estimated five per cent of its GDP.

Among the allegations are fraudulent property deals, massive loans to officials in the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, and loans to shell corporations.

Najeeb Azizi, speaking to Al Jazeera from the Afghan capital, said those implicated, many of whom are closely connected to the bank's former officers, showed "no sympathy towards this country or the people of this country".

Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse reports from Kabul.