A United States watchdog agency said yesterday that Afghan officials were resisting US efforts to help track billions of dollars being flown out of Kabul airport every year, some likely linked to crime and drugs.
The US and other nations have long expressed concern about the amount of cash being flown out of the country, an estimated US$4.5 billion last year, according to the US Congressional Research Service. Afghanistan has a cash-based economy and moving large bundles of cash is common, yet it raises the risk of money laundering and cash smuggling to finance terrorist, narcotics and other illicit activities.
Hundreds of millions of dollars from the collapsed Kabul Bank were flown out of Afghanistan, some in airplane food trays, to more than two dozen other countries, a recent report on the collapse said. The demise of the bank, the nation's largest financial institution, became a symbol of endemic corruption that plagues Afghanistan.