Afghan officials and their families as recent owners of luxury offshore property in Dubai
Afghan law requires people in positions of authority — known as «Politically exposed persons» — to publicly declare their assets and source of funds, as well as those of their close relatives.
Few if any of the individuals named in the leaked Dubai documents appear to have declared such assets — but experts say the laws are not fit for purpose, and contain many loopholes that could allow someone to not disclose an asset without breaching the rules.
«The asset forms are largely incomplete, the data published is inconsistent and not verified, and even at times contradictory. You could say it’s a useless system,» he said.
President Karzai attempted to clamp down on corruption, partly in efforts to please international partners, setting up an anti-corruption office in 2008 whose duties included registering the assets of public officials.
That office was eventually shut down, and there have been successive attempts to get Afghan officials to register their assets.
Stronger legislation was introduced in 2017, but years on, asset registration for officials is seen as a failure.
Sarah Chayes, an anti-corruption expert who has advised the US military in Afghanistan, said the Afghan government needed to work on tackling corruption and rebuilding trust in its ruling class in a root and branch way.