The United Nations Development Program continues its probe into the alleged misuse of a UNDP-administered trust fund paying the salaries of the Afghan police force. In so doing, it has placed a senior local staff member on leave.
The action taken on Mushtaq Rahim, assistant country director for UNDP in Afghanistan, represents a “precautionary measure that is not a disciplinary measure at this stage,” a U.N. official told The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this month, the U.N. agency terminated contracts with three Afghan contractors in connection with its inquiry on the operations of the $1.4 billion Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan. The action was effective immediately.
“Appropriate temporary and permanent measures are being taken towards concerned contractors and staff in line with UNDP’s strict anti-fraud policy, staff rules and regulations, as well as due process for all concerned, as the investigation progresses,” UNDP said June 18 in a statement. “The investigation — which began weeks before allegations of fraud first appeared in the media — is conducted confidentially, as is normal practice, in order to preserve the process’ integrity and to protect the rights of all parties concerned.”
Unless UNDP corrects the problems, the European Union said it will hold on to its contribution of €30 million ($38 million) to LOTFA.
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