TOLOnews.com, August 1, 2012
More than 1 Million USD Deposited into Finance Minister’s Accounts
A recent TOLO News investigation revealed that more than USD $1 million was deposited into the bank accounts of Afghanistan's Finance Minister, Hazarat Omar Zakhilwal, over the past five years.
While some funds were deposited into Zakhilwal's accounts at Standard Chartered Bank and Alfalah Bank in Kabul, most of the money was transferred to other bank accounts outside of Afghanistan.
Omar Zakhilwal. (Photo: http://electionsmeter.com/polls/omar-zakhilwal)
Zakhilwal claims that he has numerous sources of income, such as consultancies with World Bank.
"Before I came back to Afghanistan, I was a lecturer of Economics in Canada and [as a consultant] I had good sources of income too because of $1,500 per day." Zakhilwal told a TOLO News reporter.
He explained that he has had consultancies with the World Bank and has published many research papers, which can be found on the internet.
Large deposits to the Minster of Finance's personal bank accounts are from private companies and personal figures, rather than consultancies and universities. In August 2009, $200,000 was deposited to Zakhilwal's Alfalah account by the private Safi Landmark Company.
According to a document from the Standard Charter Bank, in January 2007 Zakhilwal transferred USD $50,000 to another country. In July 2007, he transferred $100,000 to a Washington Mutual Bank in Canada to buy a house subsequently transferred another $50,000 and $70,000 on two separate occasions. The last amount was sent to his sister, "Malalai Zakhilwal.
In 2009, Mr. Zakhilwal transferred $67,000 to his bank account at Royal Bank of Canada.
Another document obtained by TOLO News from Standard Chartered Bank shows that in April 2006 Zakhilwal transferred USD $6,741 from his Da Afghanistan Bank to Standard Charter Bank. The flow of money continued until after four months Zakhilwal had USD $109,000 in his Standard Chartered Bank account.
When he first opened his Alfalah account in 2007, he had $50,000 in the bank.
The monthly salary of a minister is $2,000 with $1,400 food allowances, according to the Afghanistan's High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption.
The Office of Oversight is investigating the matter.
When asked about these funds, the Minister said, " I was happier when I was working in roles outside of the government because there were less conspiracies surrounding me."
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