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Men are pictured as Afghanistan's Taliban-controlled central bank seizes a large amount of money in cash and gold from former top government officials
The Taliban-controlled central bank said the assets were seized from former government officials Image: DA AFGHANISTAN BANK/REUTERS

Afghanistan: Taliban seize millions from former officials

September 15, 2021

Cash and gold amounting to over $12 million have been taken in raids by the Taliban on former members of the Afghan government, as Afghanistan experiences a severe cash shortfall.


Afghanistan's central bank on Tuesday said the Taliban seized more than $12 million (€10 million) in cash and gold from former government officials and handed it over to the bank. 

A statement from the bank said the the raids included the residence of former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, and "a number of high ranking government officials."

Since taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have also assumed control over the central bank. 

In a tweet from the central bank, men are pictured appearing to count wads of cash.

Central bank running low on funds

Since the Taliban takeover, banks in Afghanistan have been running low on dollars and some are on the brink of closure.

Struggling banks have relayed their concerns about a cash shortfall to the Taliban, who then launched a probe into the assets of former government officials. This resulted in the seizure of assets.

Saleh is the only official to be mentioned by name in the central bank statement. He's believed to be currently in the Panjshir mountains with resistance fighters.

Former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has been accused of fleeing the country with millions in currency. Ghani has refuted the allegations, labeling them "baseless."

Afghanistan crisis

Frozen foreign assets add to financial woes

Banks in Afghanistan have had to ration amounts being dispensed at branches to avoid completely running out of money.

Its been reported that there are weekly limits of $200, and queues of people trying to access money.

The problem has been compounded by the freezing of the central bank's foreign assets since the Taliban took control. 

The amount being held is estimated to be around $10 billion, according to the bank's former governor Ajmal Ahmadi.

The Taliban-controlled central bank has said that all commercial operations are taking place under strict supervision and reported that it was functioning better than before, adding: "The banks are completely secure."

kb/wmr (Reuters, AFP)

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