Karzai's brother made 500,000 pounds from Dubai property deal

Karzai, a high-profile businessman in Afghanistan, has bought the house in Palm Jumeirah, the artificial island in the Gulf off the coast of Dubai, for nearly 91 million pounds in July 2007. Just months after buying the property, he sold it for about 1.76 million pounds.

Mahmoud Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother, said the villa sale and loan to cover for it were organised by former Kabul Bank chairman Sher Khan Farnood. "Making a profit on a house is beautiful. I was so happy to make that profit," Karzai was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

"In my opinion if you borrow money it's not a major issue. It's not as if you are taking money for free. He lent it to me - you would have to ask him why he did that," he said. Karzai, who has not been accused of any illegality, said that he had bought the house so he could apply for a residency visa in Dubai, where his youngest daughter was about to enrol at school.

Karzai owns a seven per cent stake in the Kabul Bank, making him the third largest shareholder. Western officials are said to be concerned about allegations that money spent on aid is ending up, via the bank's depositors, in property speculation in places like Dubai rather than reinvested, the report said.

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