Illegal gold mining in Baghlan reported

KABUL (Pajhwok): An anti-corruption body in Afghanistan has alleged a local firm on Sunday for illegal gold mining in the country.

At a press conference in Kabul today the body held “Afghan Crystal” criminal for the illegal mining at the Qara Zghan gold mine in northern Baghlan province.

The speakers said that the firm was awarded an exploration contract by the former minister for Mines and Petrolium Waheedullah Shehrani in return of 50 million $ four years ago.

Syed Ikram Afzali, executive directors of the anti-corruption body stated that the firm exploited that contract and executed illegal gold mining. He added that influential figures were involved behind this criminal act.  

Afzali added that the “Afghan Crystal” was carrying on with the illegal mining secretly and foreigners too were engaged in it.

Maryam Kosha, a member of the Integrity Watch organization striving to ensure transparency in the mining sector, added that the locals in Baghlan were kept in the dark about the gold mining.

She added that the firm has done no development work in the area and not a single individual was given job at the mines there.

The speakers urged the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines to investigate the matter thoroughly.  President Hamid Karzai was requested to review the mining laws, which were said to be having many flaws creating ground for illegal mining.

A spokesman for the “Afghan Crystal”, who wished not to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they have handed over the mine back to the government six months ago.

Afghan media had previously reported that the “Nadri” family was exploiting all gold mines in the country and illegally trafficking around 2000 kilo grams of gold every year to Tajikstan.

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