Kabul, Afghanistan – On Sunday, December 18, 2011, Din Mohammad Ramin, 26, was arrested on bribery charges in Kabul. The arrest was carried out by the Afghan National Police and by investigators from the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) with the assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Inspector General (USAID OIG).
Ramin was charged with demanding and receiving a kickback stemming from his work as a procurement officer for USAID’s Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) project. Specifically, Ramin allegedly solicited and received a one-time payment of $3,000, along with a promise to receive an additional $1,500, in exchange for processing a grant to a program beneficiary in Laghan province.
Ramin, who was employed by USAID contractor DAI, is an Afghan citizen and therefore will be prosecuted in an Afghan court with a criminal charge bearing a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and restitution of $10,000.
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker praised the arrest, saying: “Thanks to the efforts of investigators from the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti-Corruption Unit with the assistance of USAID’s Inspector General, this arrest signals our zero tolerance approach towards corruption. [Sunday’s] arrest is an example of our ongoing efforts to identify and prosecute fraud so that donor funds can continue to be directed where they are most needed — to the Afghan people.”
USAID’s Acting Inspector General Michael Carroll expressed his appreciation of the Afghan Attorney General’s Office and recognized its strong relationship with USAID OIG to prevent fraud, waste and abuse within programs and operations of USAID.
ASMED project encourages the establishment and growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are a major driver of Afghanistan’s economic development. Through support for investment, technology transfer, and a wide range of business development services, ASMED seeks to improve private-sector productivity by expanding the number of SMEs and increasing employment opportunities in Afghanistan.