KABUL - Kabul Bank’s loans worth $173million, including $41 million from the auction of defaulters’ properties in Dubai, have been recovered so far, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Defaulters’ properties within the country were being sold to government entities in accordance with a Cabinet decision, the central bank governor told reporters in Kabul.
Noorullah Dilawari put the value of defaulters’ assets inside Afghanistan at around $45 million, which would jack up the loan recovery to $220 million. Some other loaners have also promised to repay $87 million over the next five year.
Da Afghanistan Bank chief had claimed three months back a recovery of $225 million, including $75 million in cash. He had said in March that $50 million would be realized from the sale of defaulters’ properties in the UAE.
By his reckoning, the bank’s total recovery was to reach $225 million by mid-March. But when reminded of that calculation, Dilawari explained he had erroneously confused the defaulters’ domestic assets’ value with that in Dubai.
An amount of $270-300 million of the bank remains unaccounted-for. Apparently, the money has been illegally transferred abroad, but the government is doing its bit to recover it.
Only one country, where the Kabul Bank money is stashed, has promised cooperation with Afghanistan, according to Dilawari.
A 2009 crisis resulting from the issuance of illegal loans of $835 million left the bank teetering on the verge of collapse. But the government intervened and took over part of the once largest private sector lender.
Kabul Bank’s former chairman Sher Khan Farnoud and CEO Khalilullah Ferozi are among the 22 people accused in the big-time fraud case. They have since been convicted by a special tribunal and ordered to repay the money they had unlawfully withdrawn.
On Sunday, the National Security Council (NSC) voiced its displeasure over the lack of progress in the recovery of Kabul Bank loans, directing the attorney general and central bank chief to submit reports on the issue. (Pajhwok)