General Faqir also said he had been fired “about five to six months ago.” His dismissal had long been rumored but not previously confirmed publicly.
The 215th Corps, with an authorized strength of 18,000 soldiers, is one of the army’s six combat corps and the one that has seen by far the heaviest fighting in recent years, as the Taliban have gone from controlling two of Helmand’s districts to dominating a dozen of them. Helmand is also the center of the opium poppy trade and the producer of most of Afghanistan’s heroin, which has been a major factor contributing to corruption.
Also under investigation is the former provincial police chief in Helmand, Abdul Rahman Sarjang, who was appointed as a reformer by President Ashraf Ghani and then fired by him last year, allegedly for selling the posts of district chiefs of police in the province.
Maj. Gen. Dawlat Waziri, the spokesman for the Defense Ministry, insisted that General Faqir had been arrested.
“His corruption case was in process in the attorney general’s office, and yesterday, he was present there for investigation and then he was arrested,” General Waziri said.
General Helal said the specific charges against General Faqir included misuse of supplies and soldiers’ food, neglect of duty and lack of transparency in the use of fuel, food and other supplies. The theft of fuel intended for army vehicles has long been a concern of the American authorities and the subject of investigations by the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction. Most Afghan military expenditures are paid for by the United States government.
Theft of money meant to buy food for soldiers has also been a common problem, extending even into the main military hospital, where in 2011 some soldier patients reportedly starved to death.
The American military has been concerned enough about the…