According to The Wall Street Journal, some key Afghan officials and their families spent millions of dollars in the final years of the war on luxurious mansions in the United States and other countries, and when they fled the rising violence in Afghanistan.
Some officials who held senior roles during former President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, which began in 2014, are now residing in “mansions along California’s coast”, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public records, interviews, and other evidence.
According to data and interviews, many former officials live in the United Arab Emirates, major European cities, and Turkey.
After seeking to uncover the officials whereabouts, it was discovered that the majority had migrated overseas, particularly in countries where currently accessible property and company information are limited.
Some former high-ranking government officials who had foreign citizenships and assets, allowed for an easier relocations in their assets outside of Afghanistan, while others spent on new properties and relocated their families abroad as the government collapsed to the Taliban, according to the journal.
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai – Former President of Afghanistan
After escaping to the UAE, President Ghani initially stayed in a suite with his wife at the five-star St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi. His wife then chose a private villa offered by the Emiratis as their permanent residence.
Foreign officials had alleged Ghani of looting government money, so substantial that not all of it could fit in the chopper when he escaped the presidential palace last year.
Given the helicopter’s space and weight limits, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction stated in an interim report last week that the allegation is “unlikely to be true.”
Hamdullah Mohib – Former National Security Advisor
Before Kabul fell, former President Ghani’s ally, Hamdullah Mohib, the former National Security Advisor, who left with President Ghani, relocated his family to the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi, which was paid for by the UAE government.
According to public documents and Mohib himself, the family then relocated to a four-bedroom property in Florida on a beautiful bay bordered with palm trees.
Despite claiming that he does not own property “anywhere in the world”, Mohib claims his mother-in-law owns the house in Florida.
Eklil Hakimi – Former Minister of Finance
According to property and company records in the United States, Eklil Hakimi, the president’s longstanding Minister of Finance, purchased at least ten properties in California, both during his term in office and after departing in 2018.
One of the Hakimi’s property includes a five-bedroom home with a pool in a beach side luxury community, according to California property records. According to a real estate, the aforementioned property is valued $2.5 million.
The ten properties, which are under his wife’s name, Sultana Hakimi, are valued over $10 million at least.
Khalid Payenda – Former Finance Minister
Khalid Payenda, Afghanistan’s former finance minister, has two properties around Washington, D.C., one of which was purchased with cash. According to a real estate, they are valued more than $1 million.
In an email to the Journal, he explained that after coming to the United States, he worked as an Uber driver to help manage his finances.
Mustafa Mastoor – Former Minister of Economy
According to Dubai records, President Ghani’s Minister of Economy, Mustafa Mastoor, possesses a property in a Dubai Marina. Mustafa Mastoor said that he bought the property before becoming minister, and that he now lives in an apartment in Istanbul that he bought months before Afghanistan collapsed to the Taliban.
Atta Mohammad Noor – Former Governor of Balkh Province
Atta Mohammad Noor, after the collapse of the government, has relocated to an apartment he has in Dubai’s luxurious place called The Palm, a network of man-made islands styled like a palm tree.
According to a spokesperson for Atta Noor, the property in The Palm is the Noor’s sole property outside of Afghanistan.
Abdul Rashid Dostum – Former Vice President
Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum currently resides in Turkey. He recently hosted a gathering at his residence in Turkey where the Afghan political figures established the Supreme Council of National Resistance for the Salvation of Afghanistan.
He lives in a luxurious house Ankara’s posh Or-An neighborhood. However, it is not determined as to when he bought the house.
Source: The Wall Street Journal