Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled with $169MILLION in his cash-stuffed helicopter and has been given asylum in Dubai on ‘humanitarian grounds’
- Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan as the Taliban reached the capital on Sunday
- He took with him four cars and a helicopter stuffed with $169million in cash
- He has since arrived in Dubai, and been given asylum on ‘humanitarian grounds’
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled with $169million in his cash-stuffed helicopter and has been given asylum in Dubai on ‘humanitarian grounds’, it has emerged.
Ghani fled the country on Sunday night as the Taliban encircled the capital – saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed – capping a military victory that saw them capture all cities in just 10 days.
He took with him four cars and a helicopter loaded with $169million in bags of cash – but was forced to leave some of the money behind as it would not all fit on the flight.
He reportedly fled to Tajikistan, but was diverted to Oman when officials in Dushanbe refused him permission to land. It was earlier reported Ghani had fled to Uzbekistan.
But the United Arab Emirates said today that it was hosting Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in Dubai ‘on humanitarian grounds’.
‘The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds,’ it said in a brief statement.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled to Dubai with $169m worth of cash as the Taliban completed their lightning conquest of the country, it has emerged
It comes as scenes of chaos at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai airport continued for a third day as thousands of Afghans try to flee the country before the Taliban impose their rule.
Crowds at Kabul’s airport today were forcibly dispersed by militants who fired shots in the air and used whips and sharp objects to force thousands of Afghans away from the site.
And evacuation flights were taking off almost empty after the Taliban formed a ring of steel around the site and barred most people from reaching it.
Russia said at the time it would retain a diplomatic presence in Kabul and hopes to develop ties with the Taliban even as it says it is no rush to recognise them as the country’s rulers and will closely observe their behaviour.
‘As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan,’ Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA on August 16.
‘Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac’.
Ischenko, the Russian embassy spokesman, confirmed his comments to Reuters.
He cited ‘witnesses’ as the source of his information. Reuters could not independently confirm the veracity of his account immediately.
President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said earlier it was unclear how much money the fleeing government would leave behind.
‘I hope the government that has fled did not take all the money from the state budget. It will be the bedrock of the budget if something is left,’ Kabulov told Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy radio station.
Pictured: Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, August 15, 2021
In a Facebook post, Ghani said he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban that would endanger millions of Kabul residents.
‘Dear countrymen!’ he wrote. ‘Today, I came across a hard choice; I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and protecting the past twenty years.
‘If there were still countless countrymen martyred and they would face the destruction and destruction of Kabul city, the result would have been a big human disaster in this six million city.
‘The Taliban have made it to remove me, they are here to attack all Kabul and the people of Kabul. In order to avoid the bleeding flood, I thought it was best to get out.’
‘The Taliban have won with the judgement of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honour, property and self-preservation of their countrymen,’ Ghani said after fleeing.
In a Facebook post on Sunday (pictured), Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he fled the country because wanted to avoid bloodshed