Kabul: Facing severe cash crunch days after taking over Afghanistan, the central bank in Kabul on Wednesday said that Taliban fighters have handed over $12.3 million in cash and several gold bars recovered from the homes of former government officials — including ex-vice president Amrullah Saleh.Also Read - Breaking: 2 Dead, Over 20 Injured in Fresh Blasts In Afghanistan's Jalalabad, Confirms Taliban Official
“The money recovered came from high-ranking officials in the previous government and a number of national security agencies who kept cash and gold in their homes,” a statement from the central bank said, according to news agency AFP. Also Read - 2 Injured in IED Blast in Afghanistan's Kabul
The Taliban faced cash crunch as the US has frozen about USD 9.5 billion in assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank and stopped shipments of cash to Kabul. Also Read - Taliban Say Afghan Boys' Schools To Reopen, No Mention Of Girls; UNICEF Expresses Concern
On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have also halted their aid to the war-torn country which largely depends upon the flow of foreign funds.
Fresh reports emerging from Kabul stated that Afghanistan’s economy is near collapse even as the United Nations has made hectic efforts to galvanise global efforts to rush food and essential supplies.
As per reports, many government employees are yet to return to work — and in many cases salaries had already not been paid for months — leaving millions scrambling to make ends meet.
Significantly, bank branches have limited withdrawals to the equivalent of $200 a week — with customers having to queue for hours.
Even though remittances have resumed from abroad, customers awaiting funds at international chains such as Western Union and MoneyGram complained that branches they visited had run out of cash.
Later, the central bank in Kabul issued another statement saying Taliban fighters had handed over $12.3 million in cash and gold seized from the homes of officials from the former government — a large part discovered at the home of former vice president Amrullah Saleh.
Last week, the Taliban named an interim government and acting ministers have been holding press conferences spelling out policies that range from how women should dress at university to what sports can be played.