Ariana plane ferried masked passengers from Iran to Iraq: MP
KABUL (Pajhwok: An Ariana Afghan Airlines plane rented by an Iranian company ferried masked passengers from Iran to Iraq for the last one month, a lawmaker claimed on Sunday.
Qais Hassan, who heads the Wolesi Jirga transportation and communication commission, told a press conference in Kabul the Ariana Airlines director, Nasir Ahmad Hakimi, had moved to the United States with his family few days back.
He said the commission had obtained the agreement signed between Hakimi and the Mahan Air, a private airline based in Tehran, giving an Arianna plane to the company against $10,000 per flight.
He said renting aircrafts was not illegal, but the Iranian company had obtained illegal benefits from the Ariana plane, which flew from Kabul to Mashhad in Iran and then to Baghdad and Najaf cities in Iraq.
He said pilots of the Afghan plane were not allowed to examine passengers and logistic items carried in the plane.
Hassan claimed the pilots noticed masked men boarded a flight in Mashhad to Iraq. Hassan said he got the report one month ago and the plane daily ferried passengers from Iran to Iraq for the last one month.
The Wolesi Jirga commission had asked the Ariana director several times to appear before it, but he did not turn up and later shifted with his family to the USA, he said. Qais Hassan asked security organs to take immediate steps to bring the culprits to justice.
Abdul Qadar Zazi Watandost, another lawmaker, also confirmed Hakimi’s shifting to the US. He accused the Ariana chief of his involvement in financial and administrative corruption.
Transport Minister Mohammadullah Batash and Arianna Airlines administration director Omaid Mastoor were also present at the press conference.
Batash called the agreement as illegal and said the Ariana flight took two hours and 40 minutes to reach Mashhad from Kabul, but it took eight hours to return to Kabul.
Omaid Mastoor also confirmed flights to Iraq and called the deal as illegal, but he avoided to share further details about the agreement.
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