Finance Ministry Asks Herat Governor For Proof Of Customs Corruption

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) asked Herat Governor Waheed Qatali for proof and documentation of the claims he made during a press oconference on Sunday.

On Monday, MoF spokesperson Shamroz Khan Masjidi said, “We will be happy if he [the governor] provides evidence on the figures he has given because the data provided is high.”

Qatali had told the press that millions of dollars go to the mafia which operates at the Islam Qala terminal. He said barely 10% of the traders pass their goods from Iran legally, while 90% of the goods go through the mafia.

He also cited that at least 5,000 trucks entering from Iran had evaded taxes in the past year.

“Send me to the Attorney General’s office if more than 4,000 vehicles were not missing [from the customs registration] in the last solar year 1398,” Qatali said.

“Send me to the Attorney General’s office if more than 1,500 vehicles were not missing [from the customs registration] since the beginning of this year [since March 2019]… These vehicles were not registered in any [data] book.”

The Ministry asked Qatali for the data and said, “In this data, the Herat customs trade and transit has been calculated very high, which is not understandable to us.”

The Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in a June 29 report also found stark differences between the numbers provided by international trade partners and Afghanistan. For instance, UAE’s data on imports and exports with Afghanistan was up to 14 times higher than the figures which the Afghan revenue and customs department reported.

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