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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:35 AM

Review: Kabul Bank sent millions of dollars abroad

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Hundreds of millions of dollars from Kabul Bank were spirited out of Afghanistan - some smuggled in airline food trays - to bank accounts in more than two dozen countries, according to an independent review released on Wednesday about massive fraud that led to the collapse of the nation's largest financial institution.

The report, which was financed by international donors, offers new details about how the men at Kabul Bank and their friends and relatives got rich off $861 million in fraudulent loans in what the International Monetary Fund has called a Ponzi scheme that used customer deposits and operated under nascent banking oversight in the war-torn country.

The report describes Kabul Bank as a sophisticated operation with one set of books for the eyes of regulators and another in the back room that logged how those running the bank and others were fattening their wallets.

Loans were made, but rarely repaid. Borrowers took out loans to pay back loans. Company documents and financial statements were fabricated. The bank's credit department used more than 100 corporate stamps for fake companies to make documents look authentic. The bank operated some of its more than 100 branches without a permit from the government.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AFGHAN_KABUL_BANK_SCANDAL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-11-28-04-18-44

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