In Afghanistan, US Contractors Allegedly Owe Millions to Afghan Workers, Suppliers

    Construction workers at a project site in Nawa, Afghanistan. Photo by: Mark Fayloga / isafmedia / CC BY

    U.S. contractors owe millions of dollars to Afghan workers and suppliers they hired for their U.S. government-funded projects in the Asian country, according to Afghanistan’s Investment Support Agency, which investigates complaints of unpaid debts by U.S. companies.

    “There are so many different cases,’’ the Boston Globe quotes Abdbul Safi, an official of the agency, who claimed that some $40 million owed to local workers and suppliers have already been flown out of Afghanistan, making it difficult for the agency to track and go after the unpaid dues.

    Safi added that the agency can have limited courses of actions on cases where accused contractors have already left the country because Afghanistan and the United States do not have a bilateral extradition treaty, the Boston Globe says.

    The U.S. government said it also has limited options to sanction contractors accused of defrauding their Afghan suppliers or workers. U.S. officials said the government can only recommend contractors for debarment, adding that the government has no legal recourse against such contractors.

    The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction added that it can only take action if the U.S. government is the one defrauded.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.