High-Level Afghan Officials Escaped to Luxury Homes in US Ahead of War’s End, Reports Say

© AFP 2023 / AAMIR QURESHIA Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar prepares to take off at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021.
A Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar prepares to take off at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.06.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A number of senior Afghan officials and lawmakers purchased expensive homes in the United States during President Ashraf Ghani’s tenure before the Taliban* took control of the country in August, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Dozens of the officials and lawmakers are now residing in luxury mansions in California as well as in major European cities, the United Ara Emirates and Turkey, the report said.
Some of Ghani’s inner circle held foreign citizenship and assets, including the president's national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, who fled Afghanistan along with his patron, the report said.
Mohib, whose wife is a US citizen, said in an interview that he and his family fled to a hotel in Abu Dhabi ahead of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, the report said.
Mohib's family later relocated to a luxury house in the US state of Florida owned by his mother-in-law. His wife also owns an investment property in Washington, DC, the report said.
Another Ghani’s ally and longtime finance minister Eklil Hakimi owns at least ten properties in California, which he bought during his time in office and after he left it in 2018, according to the report. Eight of the properties were later transferred to a company Zala Group by his wife Sultana Hakimi, who is the formal owner of the company, the report said citing public records.
Afghanistan’s former most senior official, vice president Abdul Raashid Dostum, lives now in Turkey, while Ghani’s minister of economy, Mustafa Mastoor, owns a condo in Dubai, the report noted.
FILE - In this March 21, 2021 file photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a ceremony celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowruz at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s embattled president left the country Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, joining his fellow citizens and foreigners in a stampede fleeing the advancing Taliban and signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.10.2021
US Watchdog to Examine Allegations Ashraf Ghani Fled Afghanistan With Millions of Dollars
Earlier in June, a US inspector general investigation concluded that Ghani and his advisers fled Afghanistan with about $500,000 as opposed to millions of dollars as reported by the media.
The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in the autumn of 2021 following the US military pullout from the country and established an interim government led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund. The new authorities have not yet been internationally recognized even though the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the country's name used by the Taliban) was restored in December.
*Taliban is under UN sanctions over terrorist activities.
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