Kabul: A private Afghan airline flew out at least 155 family members of the company’s leadership to Abu Dhabi instead of evacuees, including journalists, according to a media report on Monday September 27.
Citing the Bloomberg report, TOLO News said the Kam Air flight was intended to evacuate journalists and other qualified persons out of the country following the Taliban takeover, but families of the airline’s leadership were crammed into the half-empty plane at the last moment.
After the flight landed in the UAE capital, the US State Department found out that the evacuees were not on the list, according to the report
Officials at Kam Air have however, denied the claims, saying the company was not picking evacuees and was only responsible for transferring them.
“We had only two flights, to Abu Dhabi and Tabas (Iran). They went according to the list. Because many people remain in Afghanistan, they make these claims that Kam Air took some families and relatives,” TOLO News quoted Kam Air CEO Mohammad Dawood Sharifi as saying.
The passengers who were allegedly not on the list are reportedly still in Abu Dhabi and their fate is uncertain.
Ahmad Shuaib Fana, chief executive of the Afghanistan National Journalist Association, said that “every person from any address that committed this action should be accountable”.
A Khaama News report said that a group of Afghan journalists have planned to gather in Kabul on Monday and hold a press conference over the development.