‘Saleh colluded with envoy in Tajikistan to withdraw govt money’

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Some sources claimed the amount was dispatched to meet the expenses of embassy and withdrawn by the envoy from the account in collaboration with Saleh…writes Sanjeev Sharma

Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, Kabul’s Ambassador to Tajikistan, allegedly withdrew an amount $786,000 from the bank in the Central Asian nation in collusion with Amrullah Saleh, the former First Vice President of Afghanistan.

Nearly $786,000 had been dispatched mistakenly to Afghanistan’s Embassy in Tajikistan, according to officials, while some sources claim the amount was intentionally sent and withdrawn from the embassy account, Pajhwok News reported.

An employee of the Afghanistan embassy in Dushanbe, who recently left his job and did not want to be named, said the amount was transferred lately during previous government for coming three years salaries, expenses, health insurance and other requirement, the report said.

He claimed: “It was not transferred mistakenly, it was intentionally transferred and people like Amrullah Saleh, finance officials of finance ministry and foreign ministry were involved.”

Some sources claimed the amount was dispatched to meet the expenses of embassy and withdrawn by the envoy from the account in collaboration with Saleh, the report said.

Zahir Aghbar said: “The Taliban regime and the Taliban letter are not official for us, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Acting President have been active. The Afghan Embassy in Tajikistan has been acting in all cases under the direction of the Foreign Ministry and the Acting President, and is accountable to them in all cases.”

A letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) written to the Afghan embassy in Dushanbe on November 22 said: “The Ministry of Finance transferred an additional $785,628 mistakenly in salaries this year.”

The MoFA found this after assessing salary and other privileges of foreign diplomats this years”, the report said.

The embassy had been asked to return the amount to Da Afghanistan Bank since it was transferred mistakenly.

Afghan Finance Ministry spokesperson Ahmad Wali Haqmal acknowledged that few days before the fall of previous regime nearly $786,000 had been transferred to Dushanbe mistakenly.

He said in the past similar mistake had happened and the money was either returned or compensated for the future expanses and issuance of salaries.

He added the amount sent to the embassy will be dealt with accordingly, the report said.

Ahmad WaliHaqmal, a spokesman for Ministry of Finance, said: “This government’s money, transferred from official address, today or tomorrow, our embassy will be reopened, so Aghbar should then pay the money wherever he is.”

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