September 01, 2014

Afghans fail to prevent cash exodus from Kabul Airport: US

By Sayed Jawad - Tue Dec 11 2012, 8:46 pm

US government following a report on Tuesday announced despite US-led effort to curb laundering Afghan authorities have made little effort to stem the flow of billions of dollars in cash from the Kabul airport.

An earlier US study estimated that $4.5 billion in cash was taken out of Afghanistan in 2011, raising concerns that money used to finance extremist groups or generated by the narcotics trade was being stashed overseas, AFP reported.

Afghan government in 2010 pledged to take action after US government launched a program to help Afghanistan control the problem in 2010. The program in 2010 was launched to help Afghanistan particulary in granting greater control at the Kabul International Airport.

However little change was noted at Kabul International Airport based on the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which was set up by Congress to monitor the more than $89 billion in US non-military aid to the country since 2001.

The United States provided Afghanistan with the bulk currency counters but the inspectors on their recent visit found that the equipments were not in use.

According to the report no bulk currency counters at all were available at the airport’s VIP area, even though many of the passengers suspected of laundering were believed to go through it.

An estimated $4.5 billion was taken out of Afghanistan in 2011, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service. U.S. Treasury officials reported that about $1.3 billion in outbound cash was declared to Afghan Customs Department personnel at Kabul airport in 2010, including about $482 million in U.S. dollars.

In March, Afghanistan’s deputy central bank governor estimated in an interview with Reuters that even more cash was pouring out of Afghanistan – some $8 billion a year, which he said was double the size of the previous year’s budget.

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