United States freezes Afghan cash reserves worth billions of dollars

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By Mbafan Ade –

US government have placed on hold Afghanistan government deposits kept in US bank accounts as the Taliban advanced on Kabul. This was revealed in a report released on Thursday.

The measure is intended to prevent Afghanistan’s new rulers, Taliban, from gaining access to billions of money following their takeover of the country.

According to the Washington Post, Afghanistan’s central banker, Ajmal Ahmady, fled when the Taliban took power, citing sources familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

On Wednesday, Ahmady reported on Twitter that the US central bank maintained roughly seven billion dollars in reserves.

Ahmady noted that, another two billion dollars, were invested worldwide.

“Given the Taliban’s continued inclusion on international sanction lists, such assets are expected to be frozen and inaccessible to the Taliban,” he added in a Twitter thread.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration halted large-scale dollar supplies to Afghanistan last week due to Taliban threats.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper reported that the United States is also blocking Taliban access to government accounts managed by the Federal Reserve and other U.S. banks.

It said that the U.S. also working to prevent the group from accessing nearly 500 million dollars worth of reserves at the International Monetary Fund.

A Biden administration official was quoted as saying “any central bank assets the Afghan government has in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban.” 

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