Another fraud case in USAID-funded project in Afghanistan

    Agriculture fair in Kabul. Two former contractors for USAID’s agriculture project in Afghanistan are facing a possible three-year imprisonment and financial penalties for conspiring to steal about $10,000 from the development agency in 2011. Photo by: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford / ISAF

    Two former contractors of the U.S. Agency for International Development are facing a possible three-year imprisonment and financial penalties for conspiring to steal about $10,000 from the development agency in 2011.

    The Afghan National Police and investigators from the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti-Corruption Unit have arrested Abdul Khabir Kakar and Noor Anwarzai, employees of the Citizen’s Network for Foreign Affairs. CFAN is USAID’s implementing partner for the Afghanistan Farm Service Alliance project in the country, which has only recently been completed, according to a press release.

    Kakar and Anwarzai were the project’s chief of party and finance manager, respectively. They were charged with fraud for allegedly falsifying documents, stating CFAN has already paid taxes concerning a building used for the project.

    Both individuals will be prosecuted in an Afghan court, the press release notes.

    Corruption is among the biggest concerns of donors in Afghanistan. This is why donor pledges to Afghanistan in a conference in July came with conditions  to which Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to “ruthlessly pursue” good governance and accountability. In May, an ex-USAID contractor that worked as a procurement officer for the Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development project was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $10,000 for bribery.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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