Woman vanishes along with $1.1M from Afghan bank

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Officials say a young woman managed to steal $1.1 million from a major Afghan bank by transferring the money to relatives' accounts. She then vanished, setting off an international hunt.

The alleged theft by the Azizi Bank employee highlights the deep corruption in Afghanistan's banking sector. One leading institution unraveled after revelations of fraud.

Inayatullah Fazli, Azizi's chief executive, says the money was stolen two months ago.

Investigators say at least nine people aided the woman, whom they identified as Shokofa Salehi, 22, in defrauding the bank.

“They are a mafia group,” Fazli alleged.

Afghan officials believe Salehi used fake documents under the name Samira to reach India after transferring the money. Her whereabouts are unknown.

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