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Ghani Orders Reopening Of Kabul Bank Fraud Investigation

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has ordered fresh investigations into a $850-million fraud case that nearly brought about the collapse of the country's largest commercial bank in 2010.

Ghani, who was inaugurated on September 29, ordered Afghanistan's Supreme Court on October 1 to reopen the Kabul Bank case, saying: "The time for action has come, and as we had pledged, the fight against corruption will be done in a thorough and systematic way."

Afghanistan's courts were criticized for imposing light sentences against those convicted in the case and for allegedly failing to bring to justice the masterminds of a scheme that diverted $850 million of fraudulent loans to bank insiders.

Kabul Bank had handled about one-third of Afghanistan’s banking and most of the government payroll -- including salaries for the army and security forces.

It was renamed New Kabul Bank after a government bailout.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa