Kam Air Accused of Smuggling Drugs to Dushanbe
Kabul – A private airline of Afghanistan is allegedly using passenger flights to deliver big quantities of opium to Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, a US-based media outlet reported on Friday. Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying the bulk of the onward trafficking begins at Tajikistan’s airports, usually on Russia-bound on flights. Apparently, it said, the smuggling is taking place under the nose of airport officials.
The Pentagon, which has blacklisted Kam Air from receiving military contracts, launched an investigation when the airline submitted a bid for a contract to service the US-led coalition. Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, Task Force 2010 commander, told WSJ: “An organisation such as Kam Air exposes itself when it bids on a US contract.”
Domestic passenger routes had been used to smuggle opium around the country, it quoted a Kabul-based US official as saying. With the probe focused on Central Asia, the official said: “Kam Air is flying out bulk quantities of opium.” But the airline, which operates four weekly flights between Kabul and Dushanbe, rejected the allegation as baseless. Tajikistan’s National Security Committee and Foreign Ministry declined commenting on the issue. (PAN)