Major Afghan Politician Allegedly Collecting Benefits in Sweden


Afghanistan politician Razaq Ahmadzai, a close ally of President Ashraf Ghani, has been accused of actively collecting pension payments from the Swedish government for his mother who died in 2017.

According to the accusations, the Afghan’s mother was not reported to the Swedish state as having died in 2017, but rather that she had left the country and returned to Afghanistan. The Swedish state is then said to have kept up pension payments that were actually received by Ahmadzai, Nyheter Idag reports.

Ahmadzai had previously admitted to living in Sweden in an election campaign video released earlier this year in which he stated, “After spending much of my life in Sweden, my desire for Afghanistan and its climate became too great.” The video is said to have been filmed at his luxury home in the Shahr-e Naw area of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Evidence that his mother had died in 2017 was provided by Swedish news website Friatider who revealed a Facebook post from Ahmadzai’s 62-year-old cousin who lives in the Netherlands that claimed the woman had died in January of 2017. The site also posted a photograph allegedly from a memorial service to the woman in Gothenburg later in the same month.

The website adds that the Gothenburg police have also launched an investigation into the matter and that Ahmadzai has maintained the Swedish identity that he allegedly provided a false first name and date of birth for despite moving to Afghanistan several years ago.

He is said to owe several hundred thousand Swedish kronor to the Swedish government and to a Swedish bank after taking out large loans.

The allegations come just weeks after former Iraqi Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari was accused of also committing benefit fraud in Sweden. The dual national is said to have claimed various kinds of benefits under the name Najah al-Adeli and was registered at an address in Stockholm, despite actually living in Baghdad.

Both cases come after revelations in 2017 that the Swedish state was paying various kinds of benefits to Islamic State fighters who had left the country to fight for the terror group overseas.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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