KABUL - National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials have arrested Shir Khan Farnod and Khaliullah Ferozi, key Kabul Bank shareholders and former top executives at the bank, Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Alako told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Former Chairman of Kabul Bank Shir Khan Farnod and former Chief Executive Officer Khalilullah Ferozi were arrested late Wednesday and handed over to the Office of Attorney General, Alako said.
Shir Khan Farnod and Khalilullah Ferozi were fired from their positions at Kabul Bank last year after reports surfaced that the bank had lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Kabul Bank was then brought under the control of Afghanistan's central bank, De Afghanistan Bank.
Abdul Qadir Fitrat, who last week resigned his post as head of the central bank and now resides in the US, has said in the past that $910 million was illegally withdrawn from Kabul Bank in the form of undocumented loans to well-connected individuals.
That included $504 million that went directly to Farnod and $66.9 million that went to Ferozi, according to Fitrat.
After Fitrat fled to America, the Office of Attorney General announced that he, too, had been involved in the Kabul Bank scandal. The Attorney General has asked the US Embassy and Interpol to extradite Fitrat to Afghanistan.
Farnod and Ferozi had been under observation and were arrested yesterday after the attorney general's office received a report on the Kabul Bank crisis authored by the High Office for Anti-Corruption, the governmental body tasked with investigating the scandal.
Dr. Azizullah Lodin, the head of the anti-corruption office, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Farnod and Ferozi were key figures in the bank's crisis.
Under their leadership, around 207 government officials illegally received money from Kabul Bank, he said. Lodin said he hopes the Office of Attorney General will prosecute those responsible for the Kabul Bank crisis.
Kabul Bank has been split into two branches. The first, New Kabul Bank, is now linked to the Ministry of Finance. The other branch was taken over by the central bank and is still under investigation.
Only $62.5 million of the questionable Kabul Bank loans have been paid off, according to central bank officials. (Pajhwok)