Afghanistan’s Kam Air rejects drug smuggling allegation

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Kam Air, Afghanistan's largest private carrier, has angrily rejected media reports alleging that it smuggles opium on passenger flights to Tajikistan.

The airline was responding to a Wall Street Journal report in which US military officials said it regularly transported "bulk" quantities of opium between the two countries.

The newspaper said Kam Air has now been barred from receiving US military contracts as a consequence of the findings, which were not formally announced by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"Kam Air categorically denies any involvement in such activity and demands that those responsible for such allegations either provide evidence to support their allegations or withdraw them unconditionally," says the airline.

Afghanistan's ministry of transport and civil aviation also weighed in on the accusation, insisting that Kam Air's operations "are based on international norms".

"The ministry...totally rejects these allegations and requests the US embassy and US military to submit concrete evidence, if any, concerning these allegations to Afghanistan's judiciary until further investigation is carried out," says Afghan transport minister Daoud Ali Najafi.

Kam Air operates a fleet of four Boeing MD-80s, one 767, one Airbus A320, one Antonov An-24 and one An-26, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.