Four people were arrested at the Ministry of Public Health for demanding bribes, the Attorney General Office’s spokesman Jamshid Rasouli said on Tuesday.
“Investigations are ongoing about the arrested people” Rasouli said, adding that “these people were arrested in coordination with the National Directorate of Security (NDS)."
The source said that the brother and cousin of Health Minister Jawad Osmani, plus his adviser and the head of ministry projects, are the four people arrested on corruption charges.
The brother and cousin of the public health minister do not have official jobs in the ministry but sought bribes by "using the minister's name," sources said.
The four people asked several heads of provincial health departments "to pay them monthly $70,000 to $80,000,” the source added.
The Health Ministry has not yet commented on the arrests.
Three senators arrested for bribes
Three members of Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga—Mohammad Anwar Bashliq, Mohammad Azim Qoyash and Liyaqatullah Babakarkhil--were arrested on charges of accepting $40,000 in bribe money from customs officials in Kunduz, the Attorney General’s Office said on Monday.
The arrest was made by the National Directorate of Security and the Attorney General’s Office, according to a statement.
“Three members of the Meshrano Jirga were arrested when accepting $40,000 as a bribe in a joint operation by the Attorney General’s Office and the National Directorate of Security, which was planned in response to intelligence reports. The issue is under investigation,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.
Some sources said that the senators wanted to take $100,000 as bribe.
“This is the first time that such an arrest has happened… All evidence required based on Afghanistan’s laws is available,” Balkh governor Farhad Azimi said.
The Senate--Meshrano Jirga--said in a statement that a delegation has been assigned to assess the arrests of the senators.
The Afghan Senate said that the three are members of the economy committee of the Senate and had traveled as part of a delegation to Mazar-e-Sharif city to monitor the security and economic situation in Balkh, especially the activities of the customs office.
Watchdog organizations said the issue requires a thorough investigation.
“We doubt the seriousness in the government’s actions in following big corruption cases including the cases of lawmakers,” said Nasir Taimuri, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, according to a report by Paik research center, the National Statistics and Information Authority has rented houses for Afs129,000 ($1,600) a month in 1396 and 1397, years that coincide with 2017 and 2018 from the national budget. But the organization defends the spending as legal.
This is the first time that members of the senate have been arrested on charges of corruption.