18 Aug 2021
Afghan media reported on 18 August that exiled President Ashraf Ghani has “settled” in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, after fleeing Afghanistan four days earlier.
— KABUL NEWS (@kabulnewstv) August 18, 2021
Ghani fled Kabul as the Taliban made their way into the city, claiming he had chosen to leave the country to avert bloodshed in the capital.
On the same day, reports from the Russian embassy in Kabul claimed that Ghani fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, even being forced to leave some of his loot at the airport’s tarmac.
The Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan has said that Ghani escaped with US $169 million in bags, according to the BBC.
New: Afghan ambassador in Tajikistan says President Ashraf Ghani escaped with $169m worth of cash in bags before Kabul fell to the Taliban, BBC reports.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) August 18, 2021
(Hugo Lowell is a British-American journalist. Congressional reporter for Guardian US and a political analyst for BBC News)
Since then, there has been no official word on his whereabouts, with unconfirmed reports claiming that his plane had illegally entered Tajik airspace before landing in Oman.
News of Ghani’s presence in Abu Dhabi comes on the heels of demands by Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi for Interpol to arrest the exiled President for “selling out the motherland.”
On Wednesday, the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan also called on Interpol to arrest Ghani on charges of stealing from the country’s treasury.
The Western-friendly leader was first elected to office in 2014 following controversial elections that marked the first democratic transfer of power in the country’s history.