Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s nominee for agriculture minister in the country’s new unity government is on an Interpol wanted list for tax evasion in Estonia.
The Afghan president’s spokesman told Reuters on January 17 that Ghani’s office was unaware of the listing for Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, which shows the 52-year-old is wanted in Estonia for “large-scale tax evasion [and] fraudulent conversion” in cases dating back to 2003.
Presidential spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai says Ghani’s office now investigating.
Haidari confirmed on January 17 that he is on the Interpol wanted list but insisted he is innocent.
Haidari has said he once ran an agricultural import-export company that did business in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Ghani has vowed to root out widespread corruption after being sworn in last year and had said he would choose his ministers based on qualifications, not connections.
His nominations were announced on January 12 after a delay of three months.