By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The bank robbers were men who were often seen around town in uniform – police uniforms. They were, in fact, police.
Three Afghan National Police officers fled a bank in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province after breaking in after hours and stealing more than 29 million afghanis (about $550,000) late Friday night, according to Gen. Ghulamullah Nuristani, the provincial police chief.
You might call it an inside job. The officers were assigned to guard the bank, a local branch of Afghanistan’s central bank, Nuristani said.
Two of the officers were cornered in a nearby home and arrested, Nuristani told The Los Angeles Times. He said the home belongs to Abdul Rahman Kahan, who had been in charge of security guards for the province’s previous government.
Police recovered most of the money and were pursuing the third bandit and the rest of the cash, Nuristani said.
Nuristani said he suspected that powerful local figures loyal to the previous provincial government may have had a hand in organizing the robbery.
"Possibly there are some power-brokers behind this," Nuristani said by telephone from the isolated, mountainous province in northeastern Afghanistan. "The police have launched an investigation to find out who else is behind this."