Logar highway police accused of fleecing truckers
PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): Truckers complain police are extorting money from them on the Kabul-Gardez highway on one pretext or another, urging the higher-ups to alleviate their plight.
This Pajhwok Afghan News reporter also took pictures of some policemen receiving bribes from truck drivers on the highway in central Logar province. Police denials are conclusively belied by the photographs.
One driver told Pajhwok: “Police stopped my truck for two hours in Tangi Waghjan area. They accused us of trafficking drugs and tried to find other pretexts to force us into greasing their palms.”
It was not the first time he paid the police, the trucker said, adding he was forced all too often into giving bribes.In other countries, he argued, a person in problem complained to police. “But in Afghanistan police themselves create problem for people.”
Arif is another driver whose truck was intercepted in Tanki Waghjan.“My truck was stopped for half an hour. Police said they had suspicion, but let me go after I paid them 500 afghanis.”
Another driver, Mohabat , said: “You see, I have loaded my truck with ghee. I cannot deliver this item to its location until I bribe the highway police in several areas.”
He explained trucks were mostly stopped in Pul-i-Alam, Shash Kala, Tangi Waghjan and Saqawi areas of Logar by police for fleecing drivers.Mohabbat asked the government to punish the policemen involved in bribery.
A provincial official, who wished not to be named, confirmed police were extorting money from drivers in several areas.“I myself have seen police stopping trucks, which are allowed on payment of bribes.”
However, local security officials spurned the allegations as baseless.Deputy police chief, Col. Nisar Ahmad Abdur Rahimzai, said police did not extort money from drivers.
Police might have sought illegal gratification from drivers in the past, but the problem had been resolved after a reshuffle at the Logar police headquarters, he added.
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