According to Afghan government officials, Hayatullah Dayani former chief of the Pashtany Bank was sentenced to 20 years in jail for embezzling millions of dollars.
He has been accused of stealing more than $26 million between 2006 to 2008 while he was in charge of the bank. At least 15 other people were also sentenced to jail for five to eight years over corruption charges.
In the meantime reports suggest a number of former Urban Development ministry officials have also been accused of embezzlement and have been sentenced to jail.
The verdict against the three accused officials was announced in their absence since they fled the country.
Despite years of international pressure the Afghan government has failed to undertake significant reforms to curtail corruption, and there has not been a single high-level conviction in a corruption case.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai acknowledged that corruption in his country has reached an “extreme level”, and urged domestic officials and the international community to help him tackle the problem.
In the latest efforts to crack down on rampant corruption Afghanistan has asked major Western backers and diplomats to furnish a list of contractors they use with close ties to top Afghan officials.
Graft remains one of the biggest headaches for President Hamid Karzai and Afghanistan’s international backers, who demanded at a conference in Tokyo this month that the government combat graft as the price of future aid worth $16 billion.