TOLOnews.com, 12 April 2015
Officials from the Fuel Importing Companies Organization on Sunday claimed that documents indicate the alleged Ministry of Defense contract scandal involves far more money than originally estimated and that it exceeds the $200 million USD mark.
These officials claim that senior government officials are involved. As such they have asked for government to launch an investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, the National Economy Commission in the House of Representatives has also asked for a government probe. MPs have said that all government officials and companies involved in this scandal must be legally pursued.
The commission reviewing the fuel contracts in the Ministry of Defense has confirmed the corruption to the amount of $100 million USD in MoD contracts, but officials at the Fuel Importing Companies Organization said that based on the documents that they have received, the level of corruption is over $200 million USD.
The union has compared the fuel contract of the Ministry of Defense with that of the Ministry of Interior and said the difference in value of contracts that were signed at the same time is over $370 million USD - meaning that the Ministry of Interior had purchased the same amount of fuel for $370 million USD less. Officials at the Fuel Importing Companies Organization said that there is a chance of further corruption in other major government contracts.
Azrakhsh Hafizi chairman of the organization said that the difference between the contract that government signed and the price that was proposed by one of the volunteer companies was $215 million USD, meaning that government accepted a contract of $215 million USD more.
Meanwhile, officials from one of the companies that imports fuel said that on the day of tendering, they were stopped by police. They claim the "economic mafia" organized the move. As a result they were unable tender. They claim their proposed price was $215 million USD less than the current contract. The Economic Commission at the House of Representatives has asked government to identify all individuals involved and to legally pursue them.
"The National Unity Government (NUG) promised to closely investigate cases of corruption in government institutions and we know that at the moment corruption has expanded to government administrations including the Ministry of Defense and others," says Freshta Amini, member of the Economic Commission at the House of Representatives.
"Corruption in the Ministry of Defense cannot be blamed on only a few people, but all individuals who are involved must be held accountable. These contracts are just a sample, there are many other contracts that might have issues," says Habeeba Danesh, a member of the Economic Commission at the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, during the National Procurement Commission meeting President Ashraf Ghani spoke of the need to tighten procurement measures for fuel contracts and for reform in the system.
Extensive corruption pertaining to the MoD's fuel contracts has seen people, including Hazrat Omer Zakhailwal come under suspicion as well as the current economic adviser to the president, senior MoD and other government officials.
Ghazanfar Oil, Abdul Wase Faqiri, North One Logistics Services and General Logistics are all suspected of bribing their way through the process. Office of Reconstruction and Development Services of Afghanistan has rejected the accusations, while the rest have not reacted.