$70 Million Vanished Without A Trace In Afghanistan
(NewsGlobal.com)- The U.S. doubts Russian reports that the former president of Afghanistan fled with $169 million as his U.S.-backed regime fell apart last August. But the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) claimed he couldnt account for the untold sum of money handled by the now-defunct Afghan government.
The chairman of SIGAR, John Sopko, provided this information in his interim report to Congress on June 7 in response to questions on American equipment, money, and other resources still present in Afghanistan after the U.S. soldiers withdrew.
Reports show the recent study concentrated on money, but its not clear how much. Sopko acknowledged the apparent theft of at least $70 million but said he is currently looking into the disappearance of an additional $169 million.
There were other attempts to steal additional American taxpayer cash.
Sopkos report showed that SIGAR is now unable to identify how much money was eventually stolen and by whom, as Afghan government data and surveillance recordings from those last days are probably in Taliban hands.
Reports show the chairman claimed that some $70 million was stolen from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan governments equivalent of the CIA, which is now defunct. Sopko used conversations with former Afghan officials to estimate the budget at $70 million.
News reports show that John Sopko claimed that according to one former senior officer, the cash hoard of US dollars vanished from the NDS vault on Saturday, August 14. Only a tiny reserve of Afghans remained by the time the Taliban showed up the following day. Sopko also claimed that he was unaware of the NDSs actual budget due to the agencys secrecy, which, like the CIA, pays for clandestine operations from a black budget.
Sopko said he would continue to collect information to prepare his final report, but a full accounting of the missing funds could be impossible. It sounds like the CIA, and its operatives may have been in on the grift.
$70 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the $2.9 Trillion Rabbi Dov Zackheim absconded with from the Pentagon coffers after the events of 9-11-2001. ;)