John Francies, an expert and independent consultant in privatisation, gives an inside view on the Kabul Bank fraud in Afghanistan, which collapsed in 2010 after losing almost $1bn (£630m), its governance and the subsequent clean up operation. The fraud was one of the world’s biggest banking scandals, involving a brother of the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. The losses at Kabul Bank amounted to about 5% of the country’s economy. Most of the money is yet to be recovered.
The bank handled payroll for government employees like teachers and policemen, but had to be bailed out by international donors when the scale of the losses emerged. The International Monetary Fund suspended loans to Afghanistan during the crisis.
John will examine the fraud and the governance failures that permitted it and then the attempts by the international community working with the Afghanistan Government to clean it up.
John Francies is a Chartered Accountant who has specialised in privatisation for 25 years, working in over 25 countries. Sales have included trade sales, public offers, concessions, liquidations and buy-outs. They have covered enterprises in most sectors including: agriculture, finance, industrial and commercial and infrastructure. He has assisted setting up Privatisation Agencies, establishing the procedures and training the staff through hands-on assistance and has lectured around the world on privatisation.
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