Several Taliban Officials, Including Head of Passport Department, Arrested For Corruption

Saturday, 06/01/2024

Based on a letter from the Taliban's General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI), several officials from the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs, including the head of the group's Passport Department, have been arrested on charges of bribery and corruption.

These individuals have been accused of distributing passports to foreign citizens.

The letter, which has been obtained by Afghanistan International, states that official letters from the Taliban's Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs were sent to the General Directorate of Passports, requesting cooperation in the issuance of passports for Taliban members.

The first part of the letter mentions that the Taliban's GDI, in coordination with the office of Mullah Hibatullah, the group's leader, arrested these individuals.

The letter does not confirm the identities of any of the individuals, including Abdul Karim Hasib or who have been arrested, nor does it specify their number.

At the end of the letter, it states that the cases of these officials will be sent to the Taliban leader's office in Kandahar for further investigation.

A senior Taliban official told Abdulhaq Omari, a journalist of Afghanistan International, that according to findings from the Taliban's GDI, approximately 10,000 passports were distributed, each sold for 2,000 US dollars.

This Taliban official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that a UN delegation presented evidence to Taliban leaders indicating that these passports were distributed among Al-Qaeda members.

The letter from the Taliban's GDI does not specify to whom the passports were distributed.

Abdul Mateen Qani, a spokesperson for the Taliban's Ministry of Interior, stated in a message released on Monday that Abdul Karim Hasib, the head of the group's Passport Department in Kandahar, had not been arrested.

He said, "Recently, protests regarding land in Barik Ab of Nangarhar province took place, and Hasib as well as some officials from the Ministries of Interior and Defence were summoned to the leadership office to clarify this issue."

Qani added that the work of the Passport Directorate is proceeding normally without any issues.

However, sources told Afghanistan International that the head of the Taliban's Passport Department was arrested and imprisoned on April 22, by order of Hibatullah.

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