A billionaire contractor for the US military has sparked outrage by allegedly selling lights out of Afghanistan o people desperately trying to escape the Taliban.
Blackw0ater founder, Erik Prince was condemned by the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki for allegedly charging evacuees $6,500 (£4,730 )per ticket on the chartered flight, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The has allegedly offered a privileged few of those people a way out – for the steep price plus additional costs if the passenger needs help escaping their home and getting safely to the airport.
Psaki said: “I don’t think any human being who has a heart and soul would support efforts to profit off of people’s agony and pain as they’re trying to depart a country and fearing for their lives."
Journalists and other observers have condemned the effort, describing it as exploitation.
“After making millions of dollars off the Afghanistan war, Erik Prince is back at it, exploiting people’s desperation for cash,” New York Times editor Maria Abi-Habib tweeted.
Activist Amy Siskind wrote: “Erik Prince sees a crisis for his fellow Americans and allies, and the billionaire uses it to charge $6,500 per person for a plane seat out. What a guy!"
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Prince has earned billions from the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since he founded Blackwater from 1997 to 2009 before the company was sold to investors.
The businessman sparked outrage as tens of thousands of people are currently fleeing from the authoritarian Taliban regime as it returns to power in Afghanistan.
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President Biden has pledged to remove almost all American troops by August 31 despite pressure from other G7 leaders to allow more time for evacuations.
In the past 24 hours, the US and other countries have flown 19,200 people out of the international airport in Kabul, bringing the total number of evacuees so far to 82,300, the Independent reports.
But many more, including hundreds of American citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who qualify for special visas, remain in the country.
Representatives for Erik Prince have been contacted by the Daily Star for comment.
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