Families and Afghan airline workers pose as journalists and arrive in Abu Dhabi
Silicon Valley tech giants, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Facebook Inc., had agreed to fund an evacuation flight for 188 journalists, aid workers and others whose safety was threatened as Kabul fell to the storms. hands of the Taliban at an astonishing speed.
Instead, a private Afghan airline has airlifted at least 155 family members of company executives to Abu Dhabi, according to a news report on Monday.
A half-empty plane was loaded with their employees, families and more – a total of 155 additional passengers, according to U.S. officials and other flight organizers, Bloomberg reports.
When the flight landed in Abu Dhabi, the US State Department and UAE authorities were agitated as the additional passengers were not listed on the plane’s manifest, had not been screened, raising concerns. security and immigration issues.
Other organizers and financial backers were upset as they claimed they were unaware that the additional passengers under the flight had landed and that they had followed all procedures before boarding.
Kam Air officials, however, denied the claims, saying the company did not select the evacuees and was only responsible for their transfer.
“We only had two flights, to Abu Dhabi and Tabas (Iran). They went according to the list. Because many people remain in Afghanistan, they claim that Kam Air has taken families and relatives, ”Kam Air CEO Mohammad Dawood Sharifi said as quoted by TOLO News.
The passengers who were not on the list are said to be still in Abu Dhabi and their fate is uncertain.
Meanwhile, airline sources said several people linked to the company president were on board the flight, TOLO News said.
“Every person of any address who committed this action should be responsible,” said Ahmad Shuaib Fana, CEO of the National Association of Journalists of Afghanistan.
Kam Air’s international flights are generally only to Pakistan from Mazar-e-Sharif.
Journalists’ advocacy groups in Afghanistan claim Kam Air committed a crime by stealing the identity of journalists, which is a crime, and have called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to bring those responsible to justice, Khaama reported. Press.
Another group called on the Taliban and international journalists’ advocates to impartially investigate the case and punish those who committed the crime.
This is not the first time that people have left Afghanistan pretending to be Afghan journalists, hundreds of people have been kicked out by various advocates and associations in Afghanistan, Khaama Press said.
A group of Afghan journalists are scheduled to meet in Kabul on Monday and hold a development press conference.