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Three Afghan Senators Arrested Amid Bribery Allegations


President Ashraf Ghani’s office told RFE/RL that two of the senators were dismissed from their seats in the upper house of parliament. (file photo)

KABUL -- Afghan authorities say they have arrested three senators who are accused of taking a $40,000 bribe.

The Afghan Attorney General's Office (AGO) and the National Directorate of Security announced in a joint statement on December 28 that the trio was caught during an operation in the northern province of Balkh.

They said the senators, who were not named, had been dispatched to Balkh to monitor the financial situation in the province.

Provincial Balkh Governor Farhad Azimi said the three were arrested while receiving bribes from a tax office in Balkh and were sent to Kabul.

The Senate, which the statement said was informed of their arrests, has yet to comment on the matter.

President Ashraf Ghani’s office told RFE/RL that two of the senators were dismissed from their seats in the upper house of parliament.

Spokesman Dawa Khan Mina Pal said the pair had been appointed by Ghani, while the third accused senator was elected.

It is said to be the first time that Afghan senators have been arrested on corruption allegations.

Earlier this year, Transparency International's report on corruption worldwide ranked Afghanistan 173 out of 180 countries.

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