Running out of dollars, Afghan banks ask Taliban for more cash

Updated: September 15th, 2021 08:50 PM IST

Afghanistan’s banks are running out of dollars, and may have to close their doors to customers unless the Taliban government releases funds soon, sources told @Reuters via @johnodonnell21 @rupamjn

Running out of dollars, Afghan banks ask Taliban for more cash

The Taliban have "almost no chance" of getting their hands on the nearly $10 billion in reserves in Afghanistans central bank — and its likely that most of the assets will remain frozen in US bank accounts for decades to come, a legal and financial expert said. 

"Its all but impossible, to tell you the truth, both practically and legally," Robert Hockett, a Cornell University professor of law and finance, told Insider on Wednesday of the likelihood that the Taliban obtain those reserves. 

"And the United States has the legal authority to freeze assets that were held by a government when that government is replaced by a nongovernment," he added.

Shortly after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan following the stunning collapse of the Afghan government last month, the US froze most of the roughly $9.5 billion in assets in the countrys central bank. 

And the majority of those reserves are reportedly held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where many governments and foreign central banks hold assets.

The former acting governor of the Afghan central bank, Ajmal Ahmady, previously told The New York Times that a stash of about $7 billion of the central banks reserves was held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while $1.3 billion was held in international accounts.

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