Alleged forgery and other instances of fraud in the records of loans withdrawn from Kabul Bank before its collapse in 2010 are greatly hindering efforts to recoup the bank’s lost funds from its borrowers. Documents were shown to TOLOnews on Friday as evidence.
Kamal Nabizada is an Afghan businessman who claims his name was forged on documents of the Kabul Naft fuel company, which borrowed millions of dollars from Kabul Bank. He said on Friday that the primary court in Kabul had already considered his case and acquitted him two years ago. But Mairajuddin Hamed, the head of the appellate court in Kabul, has revoked the verdict of the primary court and put his name among the debtors again.
Nabizada said that his forged name on the list has caused serious challenges for his business activities.
Kabul Naft fuel company withdrew $21 million in loans from Kabul bank in 2007.
In 2012, the Afghan government began assessing key borrowers from Kabul Bank, including Kabul Naft company where Kamal Nabizada was listed as one of the shareholders.
Later on that same year, the court ordered Kamal Nabizada to pay $4 million to the Kabul Bank recovery fund.
Nabizada’s defense lawyer said that his client’s name was fraudulently put on the documents of the Kabul Naft company.
The documents provided by Nabizada’s defense lawyer show the names of four shareholders of the Kabul Naft company---Abdul Hussain, Mohammad Ismail, Khalid and Kamaluddin. However, another document that names the shareholders has Kamaluddin’s name written two times.
“This means you arrest someone from the road and tell him that you are a borrower and then use your force to tarnish his name and dignity. My client (Kamal Nabizada) is suffering from the same situation while he is insisting that there are no authentic legal documents (connecting him to company ),” said Idris Zarshoy, the defense lawyer of Nabizada.
The document also shows no signature and no photo of Kamal Nabizada on the documents of the Kabul Naft company.
“Banking issues are counted among business issues, these issues need to be settled in line with the principles of commercial courts, but they ignored the second article of the commercial law, so it shows that the law has been violated,” said Idris Zarshoy, the defense lawyer of Kamal Nazbizada.
“Only courts are authorized to address such issues, the courts issue their verdicts according to the law and the legal and judicial institutions are there to decide on such things, so now the issue is related to the court, they can consult the courts,” said Rohullah Habib, the director of Kabul Bank's liquidation.
“When I consult the government institutions, they say that it is an order of the president, but I know that the honorable president is even not aware of it, I call on the president to assess this case...because millions of dollars have been attributed to me and it is a loss for me and also the government,” said Kamal Nabizada, the Afghan businessman.
Experts meanwhile warned that such moves against businessmen will make investing dangerous.
“Such issues have a negative impact on investments in the country, because no one will then trust the judicial institutions if the judicial system is politicized,” said Abdul Qadeer Bahman, Executive Board Deputy at the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
The Supreme Court of Afghanistan was not available for a comment.
Kabul Bank collapsed in 2010 when there was a depositor panic in the wake of revelations about top executives at the bank embezzling millions of dollars. They were alleged to have stolen up to 913 million USD. The special court assigned to the investigation of the case at the time found 20 people guilty, including Sher Khan Farnood and Khalilullah Ferozi, who remain in jail today. most of those convicted, however, have since been released.
President Ghani has ordered 19 individuals implicated in the plot to be arrested.
Meanwhile, within 10 days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Central Bank of Afghanistan (CBA) will seek to recoup what was stolen, under the supervision of the Attorney General's office. The president has also directed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to finalize the documents for the full privatization of the Kabul Bank within ten days.