Afghanistan’s Central Bank reported on 15 September that it had seized $12.4 million in cash and gold from former high-level government officials, including the former Vice President Amrullah Saleh.
“A certain amount of cash found at the residence of Mr. Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice-President of the previous government and a number of previous high ranking government officials was submitted to Da Afghanistan Bank by the authorities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the statement of the Central Bank reads.
The statement goes on to add that “the total of the aforementioned cash amounts to USD twelve million three hundred sixty-eight thousand two hundred forty-six (12,368,246) and a number of gold bricks, most of which were found at Amrullah Saleh’s residence.”
Bank officials said they did not yet know why the officials kept the cash and gold in their homes.
Last week, the Central Bank issued a circular asking financial institutions to freeze the accounts of politically exposed individuals linked to the previous government, as concerns grow that Afghanistan’s banks and firms are running short of money, especially dollars.
According to local sources, banks are reportedly limiting withdrawals to the equivalent of $200 a week.
The news comes just one month after the Taliban defeated the US-backed government and took control of Afghanistan on 15 August. On that same day, ousted President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, allegedly carrying millions of dollars in cash.
In response to this growing crisis, Taliban leaders have asked the international community to provide aid for Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the US government has continued to block the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars in Afghan reserves held abroad, as well as blocking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from delivering emergency financial aid to Afghanistan.