Baztab News

Contractor Accused of $7.5M Fraud Still Not Prosecuted

31 Jul 2020 Tolo News

A year has passed since Haji Mohammad Rasa, a food contractor, was arrested for allegedly embezzling Afs600 million ($7.5 million) from the meat supply to the Afghan National Police. But the case against him has not been completed by the Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General's spokesman, referring to the delay, said that there are complexities in the case of Haji Rasa and that it will take time.

“Our colleagues are trying to complete the investigation on the case because of the financial nature of the case,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

But Haji Rasa was released only a month after his arrest.

Legal experts have said that the delay to probe and finalize major corruption cases is caused by the weakness of the Afghan legal and judicial institutions, and also politics. 

Rasa was arrested in May 2019 along with 22 other individuals, including higher and lower-ranking officials of the ministry, who, the Ministry of Interior said, collaborated in the purchase of meat with him.

The total amount of the contract between the Interior Ministry and the contractor company is estimated at Afs1.2 billion (around $15 million).

“Corrupt people are in the government, their voices are heard more than anyone else,” said MP Abdul Sattar Hussaini.

“They (govt institutions) are not able to tackle these cases, secondly, corruption which dominates these institutions avoiding investigation of the corruption cases,” said Arash Shahirpour, a legal expert in Kabul.

The Afghan government’s anti-graft policy has faced sustained criticism by various layers of the Afghan society, with many accusing it of neglecting to deal with corruption cases involving high ranking officials and big contractors politically.

Original Link: https://tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan/contractor-accused-75m-fraud-still-not-prosecuted

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