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US Military Bars Afghan Airline For Alleged Opium Smuggling: Reports

1/25/2013 10:50 PM ET

US military officials has barred Afghanistan's largest private airline, Kam Air, from receiving military contracts, citing allegations of drug smuggling, media reported Friday.

The decision to blacklist Kam Air follows an investigation conducted by the US military, which showed the airline transported large quantities of opium to neighbouring Tajikistan on civilian flights.

US military spokesman Lester Carroll reportedly said, "The commander of Central Command authorised the contracting agencies not to do business with Kam Air based on information that was in the investigation."

Airline owner Zemary Kamgar has firmly rejected the allegations, noting that they were insulting to thorough security checks conducted by Afghan and Tajik forces, and reportedly was consulting with his lawyers over the US move.

Afghan Transport Minister Daud Ali Najafi has also strongly denied the drug smuggling allegations, stating that security checks at Kabul international airport are very tight.

As per reports, Kam Air is the first major Afghan company to be penalized by the US military over drug allegations. Kam Air operates a fleet of some 16 planes, including Boeing 767s and 747s.

by RTT Staff Writer

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