Money changers at Sarai-e-Shahzada Market in Kabul on Tuesday claimed that they are paying as many as $5 million per month for kidnappers and certain powerful individuals with the government as extortion.
“We paid five million [dollars] last month as extortion to some within the system and to some outside including armed oppositions,” said Qazi Sheren Aqa Safi, the Head of Sarai-e-Shahzada Council. ” The issue has created many challenges for us.”
kidnappings of traders is said to be a huge hurdle for getting people to invest in Afghanistan.
“My son was kidnapped in Allawdeen area [of Kabul] and his abductors have been arrested and received ransom as well, but my son is still not here, where I should go?,” a money changer, Jan Aqa said.
Some tribal elders urged the government to ensure security of money changers and traders.
“Money changers have invested here and the government should maintain their security,” said Abdul Khaliq Hussaini, a tribal elder.
This comes as earlier, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) expressed deep concerns over the increase in kidnappings and assaults on traders, especially in Nangarhar, Herat and Kabul provinces.