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U.S. Indicts Owner Of Afghan Mining Company For Defrauding Government

  • RFE/RL

Laborers work at a marble stone factory on the outskirts of Ghazni, Afghanistan. (file photo)

The owner of a now-defunct mining company in Afghanistan has been indicted on charges of defrauding the U.S. government and defaulting on a loan of nearly $16 million.

U.S. prosecutors said on June 16 that Azam Doost, 39, was arrested on June 13 at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

An indictment charges Doost, who is also known as Adam Doost, Muhammad Azam Doost, and Muhammad Azim, with wire fraud, false statements on loan applications, and money laundering.

Doost owned Equity Capital Mining LLC, a marble mining company in Afghanistan. He and others got a $15.8 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, according to the indictment. The loan was for the development, maintenance, and operation of a marble mine in western Afghanistan.

Doost and others transferred money from the loan to personal accounts, then claimed not to have enough money to make payments, prosecutors said. Eventually, Doost and others defaulted on the loan.

The criminal case against Doost was announced by the U.S. Justice Department in conjunction with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which has documented billions of dollars of fraud and waste in U.S. contracts in Afghanistan.

With reporting by AP
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