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Unknown Whether Ghani Left With Cash and Cars

Tracy Davenport Tracy Davenport
24th August 2021
Unknown Whether Ghani Left With Cash and Cars
Ghani called the claim baseless (Getty Images).

The Claim

President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan with cash and cars.

Emerging story

Some on social media claim that Ghani fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash. Some even claim there was so much cash it would not all fit into the helicopter and had to be left on the runway. 

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Misbar’s Analysis

MENA: The claim that Ghani left the country on August 15, 2021 with piles of cash seems to have originated with the Russian embassy according to Reuters.com. According to a spokesperson for the Russian embassy: “As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterized by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan… Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac." The embassy spokesperson cited “witnesses” as the source for the information. 

BBC journalist Kawoon Khamoosh claimed on his social media that Ghani left with $169 million in cash. 

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However, in a Facebook message, Ghani rejected accusations that he left the country with a large amount of money, calling it a baseless lie. According to Ghani: "These accusations were all unsubstantiated and untrue, and I refuse them. I reject them, with strong words.” In the Facebook clip he says, “I was forced to leave Afghanistan with one set of traditional clothes, a vest and the sandals I was wearing.”

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In the New York Post, Ghani said: “You can find out from custom officials and other authorities that they were baseless.” 

According to Aljazeera.com, some of Ghani’s former cabinet members have joined in on the accusations on Twitter using the hashtag #InterpolArrestGhani. Meanwhile, Ghani is hoping to return to Afghanistan. He said: “I am in consultation for my return to Afghanistan so that I can continue efforts for justice, true Islamic and national values.”

There does not appear to be readily available surveillance of the President leaving. The footage that was being shown of him fleeing was an old video when he was previously taking a two day trip out of the country. According to Forbes.com, Ghani is now in the United Arab Emirates. 

At this point in time there is no evidence besides unsubstantiated reports from the Russian embassy or from former cabinet members who were left behind that the former president of Afghanistan fled the country with $169 million in cash and four cars. It also seems suspicious that Ghani, who holds a doctorate from Columbia University, would be stuffing millions of American paper bills into sacks instead of moving money electronically prior to his departure. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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