US defense contractor Erik Prince – founder of the security services firm Blackwater – is charging $6,500 per seat for flights out of Kabul, Afghanistan, servicing stranded US citizens and foreign nationals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The evacuation of diplomatic missions, foreign nationals and Afghans has been underway since the takeover of the Taliban terror group (banned in Russia) on August 15, but has became particularly urgent as the Biden administration decided to pull US troops out by August 31, leaving chaotic scenes of people scrambling to get to the Kabul airport to leave Afghanistan. The Taliban has encircled the airport and is trying to prevent individuals from reaching the facility.
The report said Prince announced the price will be higher for services involving extricating people who have not been able to reach the Kabul airport and are trapped in their homes or elsewhere.
Blackwater, which has since been renamed to Academi, gained notoriety in 2007 after its employees gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad while under contract by the US government.
The US authorities have investigated Prince for sending mercenaries to foreign governments after he went into business with China’s largest state-owned investment firm in 2014 and founded the Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group. Prince has denied the charges.
In early, 2021 Prince was accused of allegedly violating the UN arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2019, by delivering weapons to the Libyan National Army when it attempted to overthrow the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord.