An Afghan politician is under investigation in Sweden for collecting benefits intended for his dead mother, according to a new report. Welfare fraud has become a growing problem in the Scandinavian country.
Razaq Ahmadzai, co-leader of Afghanistan’s Green Trend party, is expected to receive a top post in Kabul once the new coalition government is formed. But the Afghan politician is already being handily rewarded by the Swedish government, according to an investigation conducted by Fria Tider. The Swedish outlet has alleged that Ahmadzai, a resident of Sweden, has been collecting a pension intended for his long-deceased mother.
The paper found that Ahmadzai’s mother was registered to receive benefits from the Swedish government in February 2017 – one month after her death was reported by relatives on Facebook. Sweden’s Census Register still lists the dead woman as alive and residing in Afghanistan. Fria Tider reported that Ahmadzai has access to his deceased mother’s bank account, and still enjoys Stockholm’s generosity.
Swedish police were tipped off about the alleged welfare fraud, which is now under investigation. However, cash is still being dutifully deposited into the dead mother’s bank account.
The scheme is the latest high-profile case of alleged fraud in Sweden’s welfare system. In November, Iraq’s serving defense minister, Najah al-Shammari, was accused of receiving child and housing support from Sweden for years – even after returning to his native Iraq.