U.S. to investigate claims former Afghan president fled with millions
John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said Wednesday that his office would investigate allegations that former President Ashraf Ghani left the country with $169 million in cash when he fled in mid-August.
Driving the news: Sopko said in testimony before a House subcommittee for development aid that his office was "looking into" the allegations but had not "proven that yet."
- He also said there were other allegations about senior officials at the Afghan finance ministry, the central bank and other ministries walking off with cash.
Context: Ghani began his term in 2015 and worked previously as an academic and a World Bank official.
- Ghani stepped down and fled to the United Arab Emirates in August as tensions rose with the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the victory of the Taliban.
- Afghanistan's ambassador to Tajikstan accused him of stealing millions of dollars from state funds before fleeing. Ghani denied the allegations in a Facebook video.
- Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have repeatedly pressed President Biden to investigate these allegations, saying in a letter: "[If the allegations are] true, this was not the dignified exit of a benevolent head of state, but that of a coward and grifter."