Tuesday, July 10, 2012 -
Five Tajik pilots are still in detention in Afghanistan after Afghan authorities seized at least one helicopter last month, a local media source reported on Tuesday.
Twelve crew members altogether had been detained when Afghan authorities grounded a Tajik helicopter for illegally operating in Afghan airspace last month.
“We have been for almost two months [detained in] a house on the outskirts of Kabul, and our passports have not been returned to us,” the independent Tajik news agency Asia-Plus reported one of the pilots as saying via telephone.
Without identification documents, moving around the city is difficult, said the unnamed pilot.
The pilot says it remains unclear why the helicopter no longer had permission to fly in the country.
“On that day we passed border control and other procedures, passports were stamped and printed, and immediately upon landing in a helicopter, we were notified of the illegal exploitation of the flying money,” another pilot, Ilham, told the news agency.
The Tajik crews were working as subcontractors for NATO.