Taliban seizes $12.4 million from ex-officials as the cash-strapped militant group desperately looks for an influx of money

© Provided by Business Insider Afghans line up outside a bank to take out their money after Taliban takeover in Kabul, Afghanistan September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

  • The Taliban took more than $12 million in cash and gold from former government officials.
  • A large chunk of the money was found at the house of the former vice president, AFP reported.
  • Afghanistan’s banks are facing a money shortage and may have to close to the public soon.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Afghanistan’s central bank said the Taliban took more than $12 million in cash and gold from former Afghan government officials as the country faces a financial squeeze, AFP reported on Wednesday.

A large chunk of the money was found at the house of former vice president Amrullah Saleh, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, Reuters said on Wednesday.

“The money recovered came from high-ranking officials… and a number of national security agencies who kept cash and gold in their homes,” the central bank said in a statement, and urged Afghans to make all transactions in the local currency.

“All Afghans in the government and non-governmental organizations are asked to use Afghani in their contracts and economic transactions,” it said.

Afghanistan’s banks are facing a money shortage and may have to close to the public soon unless the Taliban release more funds.

The cash shortage has gone on for weeks and bankers fear the situation could lead to inflated food and electricity prices.

To try and salvage assets belonging to the previous government, the central bank asked local banks to freeze the accounts of certain individuals linked to the previous government, Reuters said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has been unable to get its hands on the Afghan central bank’s nearly $10 billion in reserves. Most of the central bank’s $9.5 billion in assets, some of which are held in New York, were frozen by the US in August after the Afghan government collapsed.

Without the money, the Taliban lacks sufficient funding. And the Taliban may never see those locked funds, Insider previously reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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