Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Concerns over Rise of Criminal Offences in Kabul City

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Concerns over Rise of Criminal  Offences in Kabul City

Kabul residents worry about increase of targeted robberies, kidnapping and street killings while blaming police for cooperating with thieves and criminals. According to media reports some area of Kabul city is more unsafe than other areas; As quoted by 8am, a resident of the 12th district of Kabul city said that he had been compelled to move into district three because of insecurity problems as theft his home. Refusing to reveal his name, he said a few years ago when his family drove away to spend a night out, robbers had stolen his house. Abdul Ghafour, another resident of Kabul, lives in the fifteenth district said four thieves looted their home at 11 o’clock on pretext that they were national security officers; the thieves burgled his home and all precious goods including jewelry, computers and mobile phones. He said that several days later, one of the stores was also stolen, which, after a week, the owner had to transfer it to another area. He says some of the gangs are located near the security bases, stealing people’s property without fear of police.
Actually, every resident has a story how he/she has been thieved or witnessed an event in Kabul city. “Last night, three to four men stabbed a boy and took his money and phone,” said Ehsanulla, a Kabul resident to Tolo news.  Another resident, Mujtaba, said it is hard to go out of home in the evenings. “People cannot get out of their homes at night. There are some individuals who walk on streets and have knives, pistols and other weapons with them,” he said. The growth of addicts and the associated smuggling constitute a major part of crime in the Kabul city. Thus, the illegal narcotics trade undermines the integrity of Afghan law enforcement and funds insurgent and criminal groups. Unemployment environment can also fuel the social crimes but the opium production, addiction and smuggling are more reasonable for the Kabul criminal offenses.
Unfortunately, this situation has negatively impacted capital flow and investment in the country. Private sectors always express their concerns about growing threats against their lives. Recently, the chairperson of Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CEO), Atiqullah Nusrat, said the situation is the outcome of “political instability” and insecurity in the country which has increased kidnappings and extortions against the business community. Political instability and insecurity have been the biggest challenges on the way of private sector’s activities and investment development. Extortion and kidnapping have increased due to political instability and insecurity and has prevented the private sector from improving. While we say that the war should end in Afghanistan, in the meantime, crime incidents should also decrease.
However, the security officials inform of serious measures and achievements against social crimes in the Kabul city.  The Kabul Police spokesman, Mr. Faramarz, says they have taken new serious measures to resolve this problem. According to him, it was strongly recommended to districts that have the high number of robberies to bringing about a positive change in the relevant area. Regarding police involvement, he did not endorse the police engagement in the criminal cases but asked contribution of people, especially to report the suspected people or cases. “Our demand is that if people have any questions or complaints about this, they shall go to the Kabul police and social pages so that we can follow up.” As he cited, the main reason for the rise of the crimes in Kabul is the over increase of population in the unplanned city. Nevertheless, Mr. Faramarz confirms that the Kabul police is responsible to seriously tackle the problem.
As a result, Kabul police arrested five people including a woman on charges of armed robberies. The Kabul Police Headquarters in a statement said the police forces have busted a dangerous gang of armed robbers led by Mukhtar alias Be-dandan. The statement further added that the other members of the gang, Fatima, Abdul Saboor, Noorullah, and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman were also arrested during the same operation. The Kabul Police also added that the members of the gang were involved in armed robberies in Sarak-e-Silo, Karte Parwan, Salim Karwan road, Qala-e-Fatullah, and Taimani areas of the city.
The members of the gang were also robbing the citizens of the city with the support of its female member, Fatima in Qargha, mainly during Thursdays and Fridays, the Kabul Police said, adding that Fatima used to stand on the roadside and was asking for a lift from car drivers to lure them into their trap and rob their vehicles either by drugging, beating, or intimidation by use of arms. According to Kabul Police, the gang was busted during an operation which was conducted in 5thdistrict of the city last week.
According to ministry of interior affairs, more than 100,000 cases of crimes have been registered in the Ministry over the past five years, the Acting Minister of Interior Affairs Massoud Andarabi said in a meeting with Kabul residents few days ago. Although the ratio of crimes has slumped, the figure cannot satisfy the people, said Andarabi. “We cannot rely on the identification, name, the list, and publication of the list,” he added. Andarabi said that police arrested 115,000 suspects in connection to the crimes during this period. “In case police faces armed resistance, they will take the same approach within the framework of the Afghan police,” said Andarabi. “The security forces seized 32 laser devices, five bulletproof vests, 400 suicide vests, 63 binoculars and a large number of bullets,” said Amanullah Chamto, Head of the Ministry of Interior’s Department for Fighting Crimes.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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