Arrest Underscores DAI’s Support of USAID, Afghan Authorities in Fighting Corruption

March 16, 2012

On December 20 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kabul, Afghanistan, announced the arrest of Din Mohammad Ramin on a charge of bribery. An Afghan citizen, Ramin, 26, allegedly solicited and received a one-time payment of $3,000 and promise of an additional $1,500 in exchange for directing a grant to a project beneficiary in Laghman Province. Ramin was an employee for the USAID-funded Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) project being implemented by DAI, which has terminated Ramin’s employment.

DAI applauds the efforts of the Afghan National Police and investigators from the Afghan Attorney General’s Anti Corruption Unit, who made the arrest after working in collaboration with the USAID Office of the Inspector General (USAID OIG), which was informed of the potential crime when it was discovered by DAI.

Mike Walsh, DAI’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said the discovery of the crime and ensuing arrest is a testament to DAI’s unwavering commitment to integrity in every phase of its operations, identifying incidents of fraud, waste and abuse by bad actors, and, when found, eliminating these misdeeds in full collaboration with USAID OIG and local authorities.

“The vast majority of DAI staff in Afghanistan are ethical professionals dedicated to the development of the country, but we are committed to rooting out corruption where it does occur,” Walsh said. “We are proud that our vigilance unearthed this particular instance of corruption in the field and pleased that our open and collaborative relationship with the Office of the Inspector General ensured that the perpetrator was brought to justice. This scheme was brought to light by DAI’s practice of requiring grantees to commit in writing that they will notify DAI in the event anyone representing DAI requests kickbacks, commissions, or gifts in support of an award. We encourage other development organizations to adopt similar measures.”

ASMED is one of USAID’s and DAI’s flagship development projects in Afghanistan, since 2006 encouraging the establishment and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises across the country. Among its many achievements, ASMED is credited with helping generate more than 100,000 jobs and leverage more than $104 million in new investment in staple Afghan business sectors such as carpet, marble, gemstones, and agribusiness. The project has also coordinated internships and vocational training for thousands of young Afghans and helped establish or strengthen numerous professional organizations and business service providers.

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