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Employees Rob Bank In Southern Afghanistan


The border town of Spin Boldak.

Officials in southern Afghanistan are investigating the theft of almost $1.5 million from a branch of the country's central bank.

An unnamed official in the southern province of Kandahar told Reuters that staff at the bank may have fled with as much as 81 million Afghanis ($1.4 million) after they robbed their own bank last week.

Fazel Ahmad Azami, the regional chief of Afghanistan's central bank in Kandahar, told Radio Free Afghanistan that three employees of the bank's branch in the border town of Spin Boldak emptied the vault of their bank on February 18.

He said the branch's manager, Sayed Ahmad Agha, and two of his colleagues were involved in the heist.

Azami said the robbery was discovered after a delegation went there to transfer some of the funds. He added the security camera footage showed the manager and his accomplices used fake keys to open the bank's vault.

Zia Durrani, a spokesman for the Kandahar police, said a delegation of security officials from Kabul are partnering with authorities in Kandahar to investigate the robbery.

"The suspects first moved their families to neighboring Pakistan. Then the bank manager and his accomplices took the money and fled to Pakistan," he told Radio Free Afghanistan.

Spin Boldak is a busy border crossing with the southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan. Many wealthy traders live in the dusty border town and engage in cross-border commerce.

With reporting by Reuters and AP

as/fg

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