Kabul asks US for evidence against Kam Air
KABUL (PAN): The Afghan government on Sunday formally asked the US embassy in Kabul for the evidence and documents that led the American military to accuse Kam Air of transporting narcotics to countries in the region.
On Friday, Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying that the airline smuggled big quantities of opium to Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, on passenger flights. The bulk of the onward trafficking began at Tajikistan’s airports, usually on Russia-bound flights.
Apparently, it said, the smuggling was 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 on contract to service the US-led coalition.
In an official note to the US embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the accusation was of a serious nature, impinges on the reputation of Kam Air and raising doubts about monitoring by the relevant state institutions.
“The embassy is therefore requested to, as soon as possible, share with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the evidence and documents on the basis of which the allegation has been made ,so that appropriate verification and legal follow-up can be undertaken,” a statement from the ministry said
On Saturday, aviation and Kam Air officials angrily rejected as baseless the media report as a plot against the airline. The Ministry of Transport and Aviation said it would investigate the smuggling allegation in cooperation with the International Security Assistance (ISAF).
The airline, which operates four weekly flights between Kabul and Dushanbe, said it was ready to defend itself against the allegation that had dealt a serious blow to its reputation.
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