The brother of Afghanistan’s president said Wednesday he made at least $800,000 by buying and then quickly reselling a high-end Dubai villa using a loan provided by the chairman of the troubled Kabul Bank.
The comments by Mahmood Karzai point to a pattern of insider wheeling and dealing that has helped plunge Afghanistan’s largest bank into crisis.
Nervous customers rushed to teller windows to withdraw millions last week following reports of unorthodox lending practices and the resignation of the bank’s top two executives. The bank has invested heavily in property in Dubai, where prices have since plummeted.
There is no indication that Karzai’s property deal was illegal. But revelations about the transaction come amid a renewed focus on allegations of corruption within his brother Hamid Karzai’s administration and questions about Kabul Bank’s ties to Afghanistan’s political elite.