Karzai Blocks US Officials From Afghan's Central Bank

Audit criticizes his lack of cooperation to fight money laundering
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 12:33 PM CDT
Karzai Blocks US Officials From Afghan's Central Bank
Afghan President Hamid Karzai offer prayers during the funeral of his half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai in this July 13 photo.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Hamid Karzai isn't exactly making it easy for the US to curb money laundering and corruption in Afghanistan, a new audit finds. Among other things, Karzai won't let US Treasury advisers into the nation's central bank—the same bank that can't seem to find $900 million in loans and whose director resigned and fled to the US after pinning the blame for the huge losses squarely on Karzai. Treasury officials say they won't even try to re-enter the bank because the environment there is too "hostile," report Politico and Bloomberg.

“The United States has poured billions of aid dollars into a country plagued by corruption, insurgency, and the narcotics trade,” says the acting US special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. “US agencies have not done all they can to safeguard US funds, and the Afghan government has not provided the cooperation needed to build a strong, secure financial system." (More Hamid Karzai stories.)

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