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Balkh officials' bid to steal flour foiled

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): A senior anti-corruption official on Sunday said two officials were foiled in their bid to steel 400 tonnes of wheat flour from a warehouse at the Hairatan port in northern Afghanistan.
Shamsullah Javed, the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOOAC) head for northern zone, told Pajhwok Afghan News the officials exposed have been detained by intelligence officials.
They attempted to steal the flour which had been given to Afghanistan by Russia in aid, he said, adding the officials had found a legal way for bid but they were exposed by the National Directorate of Security officials.
He said Russia provided Afghanistan 4,000 tonnes of flour in aid about two years ago for emergency supplies to disasters-hit families.
He said 740 tonnes of the flour remained unused, identifying the detainees as Yaqub Zazai and Asadullah Nazari. The pair reported to the governor’s house that part of the stocked flour had expired and should be thrown to the Amu River.
The men were transferring 400 tonnes of flour in trucks to Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, when intelligence officials intercepted the vehicles and seized them, according to Javed. He said their investigation showed the detainees worked at the port services department.
Balkh commerce department head Dr. Hashim Barna confirmed the flour had been illegally taken out. He said it remained unknown who was behind the attempt to steal the commodity.
But Asadullah Nazari, an attorney, rejected Javed’s allegation and accused him and his department of being involved in flour theft.
He said he was a member of a delegation the governor’s house had appointed to assess the quantity of expired flour.
But in response, Javed said Nazari was trying to escape the law, saying the incident was being probed.

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