Corruption in Afghanistan Embassy in Moscow: The Embassy’s Consular Section Revenue Stolen?

Hasht-e Subh has gained access to documents showing that Hamidullah Ghani, the First Secretary and envoy of Afghanistan embassy in Moscow, has withdrawn $56,775 from the embassy’s bank account, but has not handed the money over to the Financial and Administration Department of the respective embassy. According to the document, he has misused his authority and has not responded to several letters issued by the embassy to seek clearance on the matter.

Afghanistan’s embassy in Moscow issued a letter on 29/10/1400 (January 19, 2022) to Mr. Hamidullah Ghani’s address, requesting him to return the money as soon as possible, but apparently received no response. The letter, signed by Seyyed Tayeb Javad, Afghanistan’s former ambassador to Russia, indicates that the embassy’s Inspection Board had given the diplomat a deadline to repay the amount.

The letter states, “ You are hereby strongly instructed to return the respective amount of (fifty-six thousand seven hundred and seventy-five US dollars) to the financial and administrative department of the embassy that will be further transferred to the official bank account of the embassy. The letter further states that in case of failure to obey the instruction issued, the embassy would approach to legal authorities for taking actions.

Afghanistan’s Embassy in Moscow appointed an Inspection Board to investigate the corruption case with respect to the income statement of the consular section for the months of Mizan and Aqrab (October and November) – Fourth Quarter of the fiscal Year for 1400. The respective Inspection Board of the embassy in Moscow presented their findings to the embassy on 19/10/1400 (January 6, 2022).

The report states, “Following the report prepared on 25/Qaws/1400 (December 3, 2021), in order to document and ensure that the work of the delegation is aligned with the procedures of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other political and consular missions abroad requires that the consular section income should be transferred to the Financial and Administrative Department at the end of each months. The generated incomes should further be handed over to VTB Bank through the embassy’s Financial and Administrative Department.”

The Inspection Board that had been assigned to investigate the case included the following members, Hasht-e Subh findings show:

  1. Mohammad Shahab – Advisor
  2. Abdul Qadir Azimi – Second Secretory
  3. Surosh Zakiri – Second Secretory
  4. Sohrab Barya – Second Secretory
  5. Ghaws Janbaz – Second Secretory

These five members were tasked to audit consular section’s income for the fourth quarter of the respective fiscal year of 1400 and match their findings with that of the Mr. Ghani’s declarations and statements; then, report their findings to the embassy accordingly.

The letter issued for this purpose states, “The Inspection Boar has reviewed the relevant documents. As a result of the investigation and matching the findings with that of Mr. Ghani’s declarations and statements, the documents, including daily revenue tables, signed by Mr. Hamidullah Ghani, responsible for revenue collection and receipt, to document these figures had been studied are presented in 6 pages length of report.”

The investigation report prepared by the mentioned members of the board states that “it is clear that the revenues of the consular section were received in cash by Hamidullah Ghani, but were not handed over to the embassy’s Financial and Administrative Department for further transfer to the bank.

The report declares the following sum of revenue generated by the consular section of the embassy but was not reported to the concerned Department of Finance and Administration.

  1. $41,800.00 Revenue for the First month, fourth quarter of fiscal year 1,400;
  2. 2. $26,890.00 in second month, fourth quarter of 1400;
  3. $3,315 Revenue for the first and second days of the third month, fiscal year 1,400, totals $ 72,500.

Documents provided by the Inspection Board state that Mr.Ghani, handed over only $10,090.00 out of the total amount to the embassy, ​​which was transferred to the bank.

Thus, Mr.  Ghani did not deliver the remaining funds to the embassy. The report shows that Hamidullah Ghani agreed to return the money, but he has still not paid the money.

The report states: “Despite the efforts of the embassy and the Inspection Board for a month, Mr. Ghani has refused to pay the remaining amount and hand it over to the embassy’s Financial and Administrative Department.”

Letters addressed to Mr. Ghani by the Afghanistan embassy stated that despite promising for payment, he has not paid the money. The board has noted noted in the report, “Although the person has promised to pay the consular section’s money soon and clear his account accordingly; unfortunately, he has not done so. In contrast to his promise of clearing the money, he has kept the money in his account. It is said that  the former officials of the foreign ministry have instructed him to keep the money and not to hand them over to the embassy.”

The Afghan embassy in Moscow, after weeks of scrutiny and correspondence, decides to fire Mr. Ghani from the consular section until his accounts are settled. After his dismissal, the embassy appointed Soroush Zakeri, the second secretary and deputy consular affairs, to head the department.

According to the findings, after his dismissal, Mr. Ghani requested for a delegation to be formed by the embassy to hand over all the items related to the consular office and securities to Soroush Zakeri in their presence. But he refuses to participate in the clearance process.

In another peace of report content, it is said that Mr. Ghani, beside not willing to give clearance, he has kept all the keys with him and is not willing to hand them over to the new section in charge.

During the investigation, Mr. Ghani has confessed that he has transferred the embassy’s consular section income from his office to his residence.

Sources at the embassy in Moscow confirmed that Seyyed Tayeb Javad had received assurance from former Foreign Minister of the time, Hanif Atmar on the telephone that Mr. Ghani would report to the embassy and hand over the money soon. But this did not happen. According to these sources, the efforts of the embassy in Moscow and the Inspection Board to make Ghani pay the consular section money have failed so far.

Who is Hamidullah Ghani?

Hamidullah Ghani, according to his passport details, he is born on April 24, 1964 in Kabul. A passport issued to him by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that he is the first secretary of Afghanistan embassy in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Hamidullah Ghani, the former secretary of Afghanistan embassy in Moscow, confirms that he still keeps and guards  the money as the assets of Afghan people. But he emphasizes that his refusal of the payment is to prevent the miss use of the money. Mr. Ghani added that the State Department, the Audit Office, the Political Director and all officials are aware of this. “During my calls to the center, the authorities have instructed me to keep the amount of money you have,” he said.

“It was not a secret,” Ghani said. “I called to former embassy officials myself that I was ready to go ahead with the procedures and wrote a petition asking the foreign ministry to appoint a delegation, then I will do this submission procedure.”

The first secretary of Afghanistan embassy in Moscow says: “We had handed over 170,000 dollars to the bank, but the ambassador did not give his account. He told me at the meeting that you have no authority to ask me. So, I responded him of the same tone of not having the authority to interrogate me too.”

The corruption case news gets on media as Afghanistan embassy in Moscow has been handed over to the Taliban in recent days. There are many similar corruption cases that are still in the files and God knows when the former diplomats will reveal the cases against each other.

Hasht-e Subh Persian


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Source: Hasht-e Subh Daily

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