Documents seen by TOLOnews show that four companies belonging to the Ghazanfar family owe more than $52 million to the Ministry of Finance.
According to letters by the Ministry of Finance, these companies were responsible for transferring aid money from Japan to the Ministry of Finance from 2008 to 2012.
The four companies are Zmarai Sami, Ferdawsi Balkhi, Rana Khusraw, and Psarlai Sharafat, according to the documents.
The documents show that Zmarai Sami Company owes $18 million, Ferdawsi Balkhi $14 million, Rana Khusraw owes $18 million and Psarlai Sharafat Company owes over $1.5 million to the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.
Japan’s aid is transferred from the Afghan government budget to private companies to help the private sector.
Officials from Ministry of Finance said that the companies have been asked to pay back their debts.
“The Audit Office, in collaboration with the Aid Directorate (under the Ministry of Finance) has reviewed the contracts between companies and the Ministry of Finance has sent these companies letters so they will clear their debts,” said Ebadullah Darman, an official of the Public Communication Office of the Ministry of Finance.
Officials from Ghazanfar Group, a local firm comprised of various companies based in Kabul, said the four firms do not belong to the group. But a letter sent by “Ghazanfar Naft Gas”, which is part of Ghazanfar Group, to the Ministry of Finance has asked the government to sell the properties of Ghazanfar Naft Gas in order to pay the debts of the four companies.
Sources from the Ministry of Finance said that Ghazanfar Group officials once visited the Ministry of Finance to clear their accounts.
Meanwhile, Abdul Qadir Jailani, former head of Public Communications at the Ministry of Finance, said many investors, including Ghazafar, owe hundreds of millions of dollars to the government, but they have avoided paying back the debts because of their relations with high-ranking officials.
“Our officials, even at the minister level, have not been able to pressure investors to pay back their debts,” Jailani said.
Despite the Ghazanfar debts, Mohammad Yusuf Ghazanfar, was awarded an energy project, which will produce 50 megawatts of power. Ghanzanfar is a member of President Ghani’s re-election campaign.