|Date of birth|
|Function/Grade||Balkh Customs Chief acting|
|History and Biodata||
2. Previous Function:
Hamdullah Hamdard, the director of Herat Customs, tweeted that he had survived an ambush attack and blast which killed two of his bodyguards.
Hamdard had been on his way to work at the Islam Qala office which is a town close to the Afghan-Iran border, when his convoy was hit by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED). Three more members of his security detail were wounded in the attack.(20200621)
The private sector in Herat said the bypassing of the customs duties has affected the country’s domestic products. “The import of smuggled goods through open borders and corruption in customs is a poison to the country’s industries,” said Hamidullah Khadim, head of Herat Industries and Mines Chamber.
Herat activists, meanwhile, criticized MPs for awarding the Herat customs chief an appreciation letter amid reports of alleged corruption in his office.
“The Herat customs chief is member of a political party and is supported by this party and tries to misuse his position,” said Jawad Hameed, a civil society activist in Herat. Herat customs chief Hamdullah Hamdard however rejected the allegations of not charging 90% of customs tax and said the incomes of his office has recently increased to Afs100 million (over $1.2 million) a day from a daily income of Afs30 million ($388,352).(20200706)
Documents indicate that Hamdullah Hamdard, acting head of Balkh customs office, has been accused of misuse of authority by the national customs department when he was serving as head of Herat customs and his case is with the Attorney General’s Office.
The documents reveal that he was appointed to the post by the Ministry of Finance at a time the accusations were lodged against him. The attorney General’s Office confirmed that Hamdard’s case is under investigation, but the Finance Ministry said he has been sent to the province for a short period of time.
“The acting head of Balkh customs has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office for misuse of authorities. His case has recently landed in the Attorney General’s Office and is under investigation by our colleagues,” said Jamshid Rasuli, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.
Sources confirmed that Hamdullah Hamdard was summoned to Kabul for further investigations into his case.
“Those who have been appointed as heads of Balkh and Kabul customs are not acting heads… They have been appointed by the finance minister based on the law,” the Finance Ministry spokesman Shamroz Khan Masjidi said.
Watchdog organizations said such appointments in income-generating offices are based on favors.
“The civil service positions in Afghanistan’s customs in recent years--and now--are not based on competition and transparency. The Ministry of Finance has prevented these positions from open competition,” said Nasir Taimuri, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.
Hamdullah Hamdard did not comment on the accusations. Previously, the budget and financial commission of the parliament accused Hamdard of corruption and referred his case to the Attorney General’s Office.