Long queues form at Afghan bank amid corruption claims

KABUL, September 2, 2010 (AFP) – An owner of Afghanistan’s biggest bank, Kabul Bank, said Thursday it was not facing a run and was supplying branches with enough cash to meet demand, a day after US media allegations of corruption. “There is not a run. We’re here and we are prepared to pay out as much as the depositors want to withdraw from their accounts,” Khalilullah Ferozi, Kabul Bank’s former chief executive officer, told AFP.

“Of course we had problems but we’re absolutely fine now,” he said.

Ferozi spoke as long queues formed at branches of Kabul Bank in cities across Afghanistan, with customers anxious about reports in major US newspapers that the bank was facing liquidity problems.

Ferozi is a major shareholder in the bank, along with a brother of President Hamid Karzai and others connected to senior government officials.

US newspapers reported on Wednesday that the central bank had replaced the bank’s two top executives — Ferozi and chairman Sher Khan Farnud — and ordered Farnud to hand over 160 million dollars’ worth of luxury property purchased in Dubai for himself and for cronies.

However, central bank chief Abdul Qadir Fitrat said on Wednesday that the pair had not been forced from office but