Dilawari denies large shipments of gold to Dubai


KABUL (PAN): Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) Governor Noorullah Delawari on Monday denied large shipments of gold from the country to the Persian Gulf, rejecting fear about a new way of money laundering.

Earlier in the week, the New York Times reported roughly hewed bars of gold were being flown out of Kabul with increasing regularity. “Most of the gold is being carried on commercial flights destined for Dubai.”

Quoting airport security reports and officials, the daily said one courier reportedly carried nearly 60 pounds of gold bars worth more than $1.5 million, aboard an early morning flight to Dubai in mid-October.

Speaking exclusively to Pajhwok Afghan News, Delawari said: "I strongly reject the report, which is far from true. There is not much gold in the country. In fact, Afghanistan is reliant on gold imports."

Before publishing the report, the New York Times had contacted the central bank and said gold worth millions of dollars was being purchased in and flown out of Afghanistan, the governor recalled. But the paper failed to provide credible evidence, according to Delawari.

Mohammad Wais Sultani, the Kabul airport's customs department, head, also spurned the report. “Some companies transfer 12 to 13 kilograms of gold for processing to the United Arabic Emirates (UAE) on a daily basis. More than 50 kg of gold is imported a day."

A jeweller in the Lycee-i-Maryam locality, Abdul Basir, confirmed gold transfers to Dubai for processing, but denied the smuggling claim. He said hundreds of kilograms of gold were being imported from Iran and Saudi Arabia daily.

According to the NYT, Dilawari acknowledged there were more questions than answers at this point. “I don’t know where so much gold would come from, unless you can tell me something about it.”

Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.

Give us a call on +93 20 220 1814