KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Two former contractors on a recently completed U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Afghanistan have been arrested on fraud charges. The action came as part of what U.S. Government officials described as an on-going campaign against fraud and waste in U.S. development efforts in Afghanistan.
Abdul Khabir Kakar and Noor Anwarzai were arrested by the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti Corruption Unit on charges of conspiring to steal approximately $10,000 of USAID’s funds in 2011. The two former employees are accused of falsifying official documentation from the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MOF), indicating that USAID’s implementing partner had paid the appropriate local property taxes for the office building used on the project.
Abdul Khabir Kakar was the Chief of Party, and Noor Anwarzai was the Finance Manager for USAID’s Afghanistan Farm Service Alliance (AFSA) project, implemented by Citizen’s Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA). The arrested individuals were not U.S. government employees, but employees of the implementing partner.
The arrests were made by the Afghan National Police and investigators from the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti Corruption Unit, with the assistance of the USAID Office of Inspector General (OIG).
Commending the work of those involved, USAID OIG’s Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, Lisa Risley, cited the strong partnership between USAID OIG and Afghan authorities in preventing fraud, waste and abuse within USAID programs and operations in Afghanistan, adding that this level of cooperation has helped protect U.S. taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan.
As Afghan nationals, both Kakar and Anwarzai will be facing prosecution in an Afghan court on possible criminal charges carrying a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison and possible financial penalties.