Watchdog report concludes ousted Afghan president didn’t flee with $170M

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, speaks throughout a press convention on the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. (G3 Field Information Picture/Rahmat Gul)

Watchdog report concludes ousted Afghan president didn’t flee with $170M

Mike Brest

June 08, 12:01 AM June 08, 12:01 AM

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Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani didn’t flee the nation with roughly $170 million {dollars} amid the Taliban takeover, a declare that had surfaced on the time.

Because the Taliban entered the capital of Kabul, Ghani, the primary woman, and different officers boarded helicopters on the presidential palace with roughly $500,000, a lot lower than the earlier stories, in line with the most recent report from the Particular Inspector Normal for Afghanistan Reconstruction launched Wednesday.


Ghani, the primary woman, nationwide safety adviser Hamdullah Mohib, and head of the Presidential Protecting Service Gen. Qaher Kochai boarded one of many 4 Mi-17 helicopters allotted to the president, whereas the roughly 10 senior workers members acquired on a second. Roughly 20-25 members of the PPS have been on the third.

There was minimal baggage aboard the three helicopters, the report mentioned, citing “each eyewitness” whom they interviewed. The investigators discovered that the primary woman had two suitcases along with her, each of which carried garments, whereas Kochai’s suitcase had the month-to-month discretionary money price range for the protecting service, which was roughly $200,000.

Deputy nationwide safety adviser Rafi Fazil had a backpack with the funds for the Nationwide Safety Council — roughly $240,000.

Afghan Ambassador to Tajikistan Mohammad Zahir Aghbar claimed that Ghani “stole $169 million from the state coffers” days after he fled, the primary time the accusation had been made, whereas the SIGAR report notes that such a big sum of money could be “troublesome to hide.”

“It will be fairly substantial when it comes to bulk and heft: $169 million in hundred greenback payments, stacked finish to finish, would kind a block 7.5 ft lengthy, 3 ft huge, and three ft tall. In different phrases, it could be considerably bigger than an ordinary American three-seater sofa,” the report says. “This block would have weighed 3,722 kilos, or almost two tons. The Mi-17 helicopters that the group flew on should not have separate cargo holds. Due to this fact, all the cargo would have been seen within the cabin subsequent to the passengers.”

The flights took off Aug. 15, simply two weeks after the Taliban launched a army offensive towards the Afghan army. The army’s morale and willingness to defend its nation collapsed after the Trump administration agreed to a deal in February 2020 with the Taliban to go away inside 14 months and the Biden administration upheld it, a earlier SIGAR report discovered.

G3 Field Information

Between the time Ghani fled and the U.S. withdrawal on the finish of the month, Western nations launched the most important noncombatant evacuation operation in historical past, with roughly 120,000 folks being evacuated, although hundreds of Afghan allies, who could be in danger below a Taliban regime, have been left behind.

Ghani and the three helicopters landed in Uzbekistan and have been met with hostility on the tarmac. They have been compelled to go away and finally traveled to the United Arab Emirates. The group paid $120,000 of the cash taken from the palace to constitution a Kazak Bombardier aircraft to Abu Dhabi, in line with the report.

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