It's now well known that ex-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled his country on Sunday while claiming it would "avert bloodshed". His rapid exit, initially said to have been toward Tajikistan, ensured the lighting fast Taliban takeover of Kabul - also as the Pentagon scrambled to initiate the still ongoing evacuation of US diplomats and all American citizens.
On Monday it emerged via Russian embassy eyewitnesses and reports that Ghani had stuffed multiple cars and a helicopter full of cash upon departure, even leaving some of it on the airport tarmac as not all of it could be physically carried, apparently. It's now emerging that he and his aides may have escaped with a whopping $169 million, according to new statements from the Afghan ambassador in Tajikistan, as reported in BBC.
Further the United Arab Emirates is now confirming that he's reappeared in the UAE. "The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds," according to a Wednesday foreign ministry statement.
Since he fled Sunday, there had been no official word on his whereabouts, though previously there was speculation that Tajikistan may have denied him entry, which may have initially diverted Ghani to Oman.
Ghani has a lot to answer for: not only did he loot Afghanistan's coffers (and the US taxpayer by extensions), but his fleeing may have collapsed a major transitional or possible 'power sharing' deal that was in the works, which perhaps would have also avoided the horrific scenes from Kabul international airport on Monday that resulted in at least seven deaths.
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
Bloomberg earlier in the week reported on the potential deal that was in progress in Doha: "
Among those efforts was a tantalizing agreement that could have guaranteed calm. Afghan and Taliban negotiators tentatively reached a deal in which all sides would declare a two-week cease-fire in exchange for President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation and the start of talks on setting up a transitional government, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.
But the efforts collapsed as soon as reports emerged that he fled Sunday, according to Bloomberg.