By G9ija

The Taliban have arrested a man for allegedly selling dozens of women in northern Afghanistan after duping them into believing they would be marrying into money, officials said Tuesday.

The man was arrested in northern Jawzjan province late on Monday, Damullah Seraj, the Taliban provincial police chief, told reporters.

“We are still in our initial stages of the investigation. We hope to find out more about this case later,” he said.

Mohammad Sardar Mubariz, a district police chief in Jawzjan, told AFP the man would target poor women desperate to improve their circumstances.

After saying he would find them a wealthy husband, he would move them to a different province where they were instead sold into servitude.

He allegedly trafficked around 130 women this way.

Crime, nepotism and corruption are not new in Afghanistan but rising poverty is undermining the Taliban government’s claim to legitimacy.

Since their return to power about three months ago, the Taliban are trying to contain a spate of crimes such as robberies and kidnappings in the big cities.

On Tuesday, the Taliban interior ministry said 60 people — including members of the passport department — were arrested for forging documents to obtain passports.

The ministry said it was temporarily closing the passport office in Kabul for maintenance.