Kabul (afviews): A local Afghan consortium has bid to buy the New Kabul Bank, the country’s largest private bank which collapsed in a fraud scandal in 2010.
Earlier, three domestic and two international groups had expressed interest in the bank, but by deadline on Saturday only one consortium had stepped forward and presented its offer for buying the new Kabul Bank, Afghanistan Central Bank Governor, Norullah Delawari told a press conference.
The value of the offer was not disclosed at the news conference. According to officials, it will announce latter. “A government evaluation committee will examine the merits of the bid and a decision can be expected in April,” Delawari said.
Kabul Bank was seized by the government in 2010 after the exposure of a staggering $900 million fraud, which led the International Monetary Fund to temporarily stop its millions of dollars of loans to the Afghan government.
In November last year a foreign-funded inquiry found a sophisticated network of corruption that saw vast sums of money smuggled abroad. Twenty-two people have been charged with causing the bank’s collapse through fraud and corruption, and a special tribunal is expected to deliver its verdict latter on.
The inquiry report has said that a number of well-connected people allegedly implicated in the scandal as shareholders, including a brother of President Hamid Karzai, have not been charged.
But Mhamood Karzai, brother of president Karzai said that he return all money to Kabul Bank.
An Asset Recovery Committee has been set up for collection of amount. Afghanistan Central Bank Governor, Norullah Delawari said that millions of US dollars has been recovered so far.
“As far as I know, $137 million have been collected and at the moment and official of Kabul Bank Asset Recovery is in Dubai to sell $33 million worth property there. There are some other property in Afghanistan and abroad ready for sell,” Delawari told media.
Western donors have pledged billions of dollars in aid after NATO combat troops withdraw from insurgency-racked Afghanistan in 2014, but have conditioned payment on corruption being brought under control.