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Dawi in detention over fraud, unpaid debt allegations

Dawi in detention over fraud, unpaid debt allegations

By
On
Apr 04, 2017 - 14:03

KABUL (Pajhwok): Renowned businessman Abdul Ghafar Dawi has been arrested over alleged fraud and owing millions of dollars to government and private companies, an official said, but Dawi relatives rubbished the claim.

According to document with the anti-corruption tribunal, Dawi was arrested on March 14 on fraud charges and was shifted to the Pul-i-Charkhi prison.

Allegations

According to the source, Dawi, owner of the Dawi Oil, is accused of fraud and eight cases of borrowing money from the government and private sectors.

Dawi owes a total of $79.5 million to different private and government sector companies. He has to return $32 million to the Kabul Bank, $15 million to the Finance Ministry and $7.5 million to the Ahmadzai Group.

Dawi has also borrowed $10 million from the Maihan Petroleum, $4 million from the Global Oil and $10 million from Maiwand, Afghan United and Bashtani banks.

In addition, Dawi is accused of fraud by the Aryana Afghan Airlines for not paying millions of dollars in rent of shops at the Kabul international airport. 

Ministry of Finance (MoF)

MoF spokesman Ajmal Abdul Rahimzai acknowledged Dawi owed money to the ministry but did not go into details.

“I have no information how much Dawi owes to the ministry but the case is currently at the court.”

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)

CAA spokesman Qasim Rahimi said Dawi group owed in rent of 94.18 square metres area of Kabul airport from May 2009 till July 2016. He said after a few months of payments, the group did not pay the rent.

He said if the Dawi Oil had any doubt about the amount they had to pay in rent, the group could refer to the CAA with documents.

Reaction of Wahid Ahmadzai Group

Wahid Ahmadzai, the owner of Ahmadzai Group, told Pajhwok Afghan News Dawi owed $7.3 million to the Ahmadzai Group.

He said they once received 12 cheques from Dawi, but only four were cashed and the remaining eight bounced.

He said Dawi also failed to comply with a local jirga’s decision that asked him to pay $500,000 every month to the Ahmadzai Group.

Allegations of Global Oil

Haji Tawkal, the owner of Global Oil, said Dawi Company owed $3.3 million to them. He said Dawi bought oil worth 3.3 million from the Global Oil but did not clear the payment.

Dawi Oil Company’s response

Mohammad Asghar Gheyasi, deputy head of Dawi Oil Company, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the allegations leveled against Abdul Ghafar Dawi were one-sided and exaggerated.

He said their company had hired services of defense lawyers and cases made against Dawi had not been finalized.

About the Kabul Bank loan, he disputed the amount of loan payable, saying their firm owed $17.2 million to the bank based on documents available and the loan had been partially paid.

“We paid back $3.5 million to the bank but when we referred to the bank’s clearance department in 2015 to pay the rest of the debt, the bank officials told us we have to pay an extra $4 million belonging to two loan accounts of the company,” he said.

He added the loan did not belong to the Dawi Oil Company and they refused to pay the amount.

Gheyasi rejected allegation of betraying the Aryana Airlines and said: “This allegation is baseless, Ariana Airlines owes $18.5 million to Dawi Oil Company for airplane fuel, Kabul’s fourth police district court will decide the case in the next one week.”

The company’s tax debts allegation was also baseless and the issue was sub-judice, he said.

About outstanding rent to the Duty Free shops at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, he said: “The shops were rented out to four persons including Abdul Ghafar Dawi in 2008. We paid the entire year’s rent, but the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) did not extend our license after 2009, but we continued our duty, the ACAA did not ask about the license from us.”

“The ACAA did not compare our payments with their receipts, we do not know why only Dawi Company is singled out while the three others are ignored,” Gheyasi said.

About $7.5 million to Ahmadzai Group Company, he said: “It is totally a lie; Dawi Company was obtaining its needed fuel from Ahmadzai Group Company as a business partner because our accounts were closed due to the Kabul Bank scandal.”

“Head of the Ahmadzai Group sold 146,000 tons of fuel to us for $200 million through ISAF tax exemption, when we asked about the purchase bills, they did not provide them to us, so we ended our partnership with the company,” he said.

Gheyasi also rejected allegations that Dawi owed $14 million to Maihan Petroleum and Global Oil and said the two companies were partners of Dawi in buying and selling of airplane fuel.

He said Dawi Company had suffered huge losses due its partnership with Maihan Petroleum and Global Oil companies. Dawi Company moved the court and demanded $79 million from the two companies, he said.

About non-payment of $10 million to Maiwand Bank, Pashtani Bank and Afghan United Bank, he said there were no such claims against the company. He said the company had paid its dept amounting to $2.69 million to the Pashtani Bank.

About the detention of Abdul Ghafar Dawi, Gheyasi said: “Dawi was detained as a result of unhealthy competition by a number of individuals and companies. Former partners of Dawi want to stop Dawi Company so they could get a huge benefit in the market,”

Attorney General Office (AGO)’s response

AGO spokesman Jamshid Rasouli said he could not confirm or reject allegations against Dawi. “We will be able to share information in this regard once we investigate cases against Dawi which are still under process in the court,” he said.

Afghanistan Integrity Watch (IWA)’s concern

Sayed Akram Afzali, head of IWA, a non-governmental organization, told Pajhwok the allegations against Abdul Ghafar Dawi were mostly related to differences between business partners.

“Major corruption cases in which powerful political figures are involved should be prioritized in the Anti-Corruption Justice Center (ACJC), cases of business differences do not relate to this center,” he said. He claimed the ACJC was misused for political and economic gains.

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