KABUL (Pajhwok):Pajhwok Afghan News findings show some people have demanded tens of thousands of dollars from people wishing to leave the country against a promise of individual and family visas.
However, government officials say those behind of such cases have been identified and will be brought to justice.
Following the fall of Afghanistan’s previous regime on August 15 this year, a number of countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, and Australia, announced that Afghans who worked with them in Afghanistan, would be evacuated to the countries.
According to reports, more than 120,000 Afghans have been evacuated so far, including journalists, civil society activists, translators, former government security personnel and others.
At the same time, many Afghans are trying to take advantage of this opportunity to move to the United States or Europe with their families.
Some people are trying to involve in trafficking persons using the opportunity and take illegal money from people who plan to leave the country.
A Facebook page named, (Tourist Company providing European countries visas and free consultation for asylum) in a post said, “US individual visa, there are limited chances, anyone who are matching the conditions should hurry up”.
The post says that the US immigrant visa processes for a person is charged $28,000 and it could be provided in 20 days. Two visas of Canada for a family of two is for $50,000 and for a three member family it is for $60,000.
A number of Facebook users who commented to the post said that officials of the company have deceived people; some others said that the company lied while others required more details.
The post has given a telephone number, which a Pajhwok reporter dialed and sought details from the recipient, who identified himself as “Umrah.” He said “Right now we have Canadian visas, we have individual visas for the United States, we have many individual visas.”
He said a Canadian visa would cost 27000 dollars. He said they had American visas as well and each visa would cost between 29,000 and 27000 and 26000 dollars. The visa process time is 25 to 30 days. “You will be included in this program. Family visas will be announced next week. Our work is 100 percent sure.”
The person said they took no money in advance. The money should be kept with a money changer and they would receive the money once the visa was confirmed.
A Facebook page “Afghan Bazaar” also wrote that a Canadian visa was being made available in 45 days.
A phone number on the page was contacted by this scribe. The call recipient refused to give his name. He said a Canadian visa would be provided in 45 days against 22,000 dollars. He also said they do not demand money in advance.
Similarly, Pajhwok has obtained an audio clip in which a person says “There are Afghans who can receive visas from embassies against 10000 dollars. Why don’t we do this, we have Wakil Sahib in the embassy, if we introduce five people and each gives 50000 dollars, it is enough money.”
In a second audio clip the same person says: “there are Afghans who want to go abroad to the US, Europe and other countries. I am in the embassy and I will introduce someone in the embassy who can obtain visas. You can ask people to give up to 25000 dollars which we will distribute among ourselves.”
Similarly, a resident of Kabul, Melad Sahibzada, said he had talked with a human smuggler who lived in Mazar-i-Sharif. The smuggler told him he could evacuate people in flights to foreign countries from Mazar and Kabul.
“A single person is charged 10000 USD and a family is charged 20000 dollars. The flight is confirmed in a week. One should provide ID card, passport, telephone number and email address.”
The Human First Coalition, which facilitates the evacuation of American citizens and their Afghan allies from Afghanistan, also says it has received information that someone is trying to deceive Afghans who want to leave Afghanistan safely.
The source told Pajhwok Afghan News the men called +93782599276 and said they knew or worked with Safi, the man who worked with the HumanFirst Coalition team.
Sources said that the men are now demanding money on the pretext of being included in the group’s Serena office list.
The group insists that these people are deceiving Afghan families and people should know that those who call these numbers are not providing real service because the Human First Coalition never asks for money in return for services and cooperation in evacuating people from Afghanistan.
Zabihullah Mujahid, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they were investigating the claims and in case of any violation, they would act according to the law.