A senior member of former President Ashraf Ghani’s security staff said on Sunday that he has video proof of Ghani’s alleged theft, reports Dawn.
Brigadier General Piraz Ata Sharifi, who headed Ghani’s bodyguard, said in an interview that he not only saw huge bags of cash being transferred but also acquired a video clip from a CCTV camera.
“One of my jobs was to disarm the soldiers on guard at the ministry before the president arrived, for his security,” Sharifi told the Daily Mail Online
“We were waiting for the president there. But then I got a call to say that instead of coming to the defence ministry, the president went to the airport. The defence minister had also fled. So had my boss. So had all of Ghani’s close family and entourage,” he said.
“I have a [CCTV] recording [from the palace], which shows that an individual at the Afghan Bank brought a lot of money to Ghani before he left,” Sharifi claimed.
“Hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars. There were many big bags and they were heavy. It was not rice,” he said, patting a bag of rice beside him, ruefully.
“This money was supposed to be for the currency exchange market,” he said. “Each Thursday, the dollars were brought for that purpose. Instead, it was taken by the president. Ghani knew in the end what would happen. So he took all the money and escaped.”
“I never thought he would do that. But I have the evidence which I will share when I am in a safe place.”
Ghani, however, had refuted the allegations that he had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, he said, “These charges are completely and categorically false.”
“Corruption is a plague that has crippled our country for decades, and fighting corruption has been a central focus of my efforts as president,” Ghani said.
Ghani said he left Afghanistan unceremoniously to avoid bloodshed. His abrupt departure allowed the Taliban to take Kabul two weeks before the US troop pullout.