Share

Watchdog: Follow the Money

Millions in salaries meant for Afghan police may be going to the wrong people: Report

By |
Watchdog,Afghanistan,Kelly Cohen,Follow the Money,Cybersecurity,Technology,SIGAR

The United States has spent billions to train the Afghan National Police -- and the money used to pay them may be going to the wrong people.

Some salaries of the ANP are paid through a mobile money system, which allows those in high-threat or remote areas in Afghanistan to get their salaries via text message.

By using the system, the ANP employees receive their salaries through credits sent to their cell phones. Then, they can use the credits at a variety of stores for goods and services. Some of the stores known as "trusted agents" even go as far as to give the employees cash in exchange for the credits.

But that doesn't always work out in the employees' favor.

"[H]alf of the ANP salaries paid through that 'trusted agent' system are diverted or otherwise siphoned off from rightful recipients by corrupt pay agents or other illicit means," according to a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.

SIGAR believes that this year, up to $45 million may be at risk -- or roughly 9 percent of all salary payments to the ANP.

No other Afghan government institutions are currently using mobile payment systems, according to SIGAR.

"Ensuring that police officers receive their full salaries is critical to creating an honest, reliable, and sustainable police force," the report reiterated.

View article comments Leave a comment
Author:

Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner