US suspends Kam Air ban as Afghanistan probes opium claim

The United States has suspended its blacklisting of Kam Air after the Afghan government promised an investigation into claims of opium trafficking by the airline, NATO's coalition force in Afghanistan ISAF announced.

A statement from ISAF said: "The Afghan government has agreed to conduct a full investigation of Kam Air and, if warranted, to take further action."

In return, the US "will support the Afghan government's investigation by providing evidence and documents as required," it said.

The US had banned Afghanistan's largest private airline from its list of potential military contractors, claiming the company on its civilians flights was conveying "bulk" quantities of opium to neighbouring Tajikistan, the Wall Street Journal revealed last week.

The impoverished Central Asian country is regarded as a key transit route used by drug smugglers.

Both the airline and Afghan authorities rejected the allegation. At the end of last month the government demanded proof of drug smuggling from American forces in Afghanistan, which they agreed to do.

ISAF said Monday that 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."

The US discovered the alleged drug smuggling when it started scrutinising Kam Air after the airline sought a US contract, Richard Longo, the commander of Task Force 2010, a coalition anti-corruption unit, told the WSJ.

Ninety percent of the world's opium is produced is Afghanistan, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Poppy farmers are taxed by Taliban militants who use the cash to help fund their insurgency against the Kabul government and NATO forces, UNODC said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin B. Tacadena, VERA Files “Gutom (hunger),” Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options