Wednesday, April 17, 2024

US suspends ban on major Afghan airline Kam Air

Immigration News

Afghan Airline Kam AirUnited States Forces-Afghanistan announced that the United States of America has suspended its blacklisting of Kam Air after the Afghan government promised an investigation into claims of opium trafficking by the airline, AFP reported.

According to a statement released by USFOR-A, “The Afghan government has agreed to conduct a full investigation of Kam Air and, if warranted, to take further action.”

The source further added, in return, the US “will support the Afghan government’s investigation by providing evidence and documents as required.”

Afghanistan’s largest private airline Kam Air was banned by US from its list of potential military contractors claiming the company on its civilians flights was conveying “bulk” quantities of opium to neighbouring Tajikistan.

This comes as the impoverished Central Asian country is regarded as a key transit route used by drug smugglers.However the allegations by US were denied both by the airline company and the Afghan government and demanded proof of drug smuggling from American forces in Afghanistan, which they agreed to do.

In the meantime, USFOR-A on Monday said that U.S. Central Command decided to suspend the ban because “it is an appropriate, logical course of action at this time for the sovereign Afghan government to conduct a full investigation of Kam Air.”

Richard Longo, the commander of Task Force 2010, a coalition anti-corruption unit quoted by Wall Street Journal said, the US discovered the alleged drug smuggling when it started scrutinising Kam Air after the airline sought a US contract.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), around 90% of the the world’s opium is produced in Afghanistan. UNODC officials also expressed concerns that poppy farmers are taxed by Taliban militants who use the cash to help fund their insurgency against the Kabul government and NATO forces.

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