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Taliban under scrutiny as $1.2M vanishes from wrecked Russian jet

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KABUL – The Taliban are facing scrutiny following reports of a substantial sum, approximately $1.2 million, being allegedly stolen from a Russian private jet that crashed in Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan province on January 21.

The Dassault Falcon 10 aircraft, carrying out a medical evacuation from Thailand to Russia, crashed with four out of the six people aboard surviving. The crash claimed the lives of Anna Evsyukova and her husband Anatoly Evsyukov, who were on their way to Moscow for Anna’s medical treatment.

Preliminary statements from the pilots, Arkady Grachev and Dmitry Belyakov, point to technical problems as the cause of the crash, specifically mentioning issues with the fuel.

In the aftermath, reports surfaced of the alleged theft of $1.2 million from the private jet. The Taliban governor for Badakhshan province, Mohammad Ayub Khalid, has initiated an investigation into the matter.

The accusations have led to complications in handing over the crashed plane to the Russian embassy in Kabul. Grachev, one of the pilots, denied the presence of such a significant amount of money on board, stating that any money handed over to Afghans was a token of gratitude for their assistance after the crash.

Despite the denial, the accusations have further intensified the spotlight on the Taliban, currently in control of Afghanistan amid a civil war. The survivors, enduring harsh conditions for a day and a half before rescue, recount their struggle, including burning shoelaces to keep warm and a challenging trek through deep snow.

The investigation into the alleged theft adds another layer of complexity to the already tragic incident, raising questions about the circumstances surrounding the crash and the events that followed.

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