Documents seen by TOLOnews reveal that Habibullah, the ex-head of Astras company, is accused of embezzling 180 million afs and $830,000. Astras operates at the Aqina dry port in Faryab.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior and officials from the Attorney General’s office have said they are investigating reports of embezzlement by Habibullah.
The Ministry of Finance also confirmed the report, saying that Mr. Habibullah, the ex-head of Astras company for Aqina port in Faryab, is under scrutiny by Afghan legal agencies.
Habibullah’s whereabouts are unknown.
The document sent to the Attorney General by the acting head of Aqina Port Services Department on November 17 reads that Habibullah had withdrawn over $440,000 and 178 million afs from the bank account of Astras company.
Habibullah served in the post for seventeen years.
The second portion of the document shows that Habibullah also took out a loan of more than $392,000 and 1.3 million afs for purchasing a 100 acres of land for the company. But based on the document, he (Habibullah) never returned the amount and presumably embezzled it.
“This individual is under the watch of our colleagues--we have requested the security and intelligence agencies to arrest him and refer him to the Attorney General,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the Attorney General of Afghanistan.
“Directives have been issued to the relevant organs in the capital and in the provinces to carry out legal action as per the guidance of the honorable Attorney General’s Office,” said Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior.
TOLOnews reporters made several attempts to reach the ex-head of the Astras company for comment, but his mobile phones appear to be turned off.
“Anyone, regardless of his post, who has plundered the national assets of Afghanistan should be served justice,” said MP Amir Mohammad Khaksar.
“The central government, the National Unity Government, the Ministry of Finance, the National Security Council and the president are aware of this, but they are not able to control embezzlement of funds in Aqina port,” said MP Baktash Eshchi.
Astras also has offices in Hairatan and Torghundi ports of Afghanistan.
Astras is one of the largest joint corporations between Afghanistan and the former Soviet Union. The company started working in Afghanistan in 1983 for the purpose of trade and shipping.
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