Ex-British soldier evacuating Afghans arrested by Taliban: report

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Ex-British soldier evacuating Afghans arrested by Taliban: report

A former British soldier who has been trying to evacuate 400 Afghans was reportedly arrested by the Taliban on Thursday and thrown in prison, where he was questioned about his female staffers at a Kabul business.

Ben Slater, a former member of the Royal Military Police who now runs the Nomad Concepts Group, has traveled hundreds of miles in an effort to evacuate the nationals after claiming the UK failed to approve visas during the airlift from Kabul, Sky News reported.

He told the outlet that he has already managed to get 67 people out of the Taliban-controlled country.

But after the failed bid to get his workers and their families seats on a plane, the 37-year-old Slater spent two days at a hotel near the border, the Telegraph reported.

Slater on Thursday morning was imprisoned by the Taliban and interrogated about members of his staff, many of whom are single women staying at the hotel without their husbands, according to the outlet.

Taliban fighters stand guard.
Ben Slater was imprisoned by the Taliban and interrogated about members of his staff, many of whom are single women staying at the hotel without their husbands.
Hussain Ali/Pacific Press/Shutte

He was later released and allowed to cross the border with one assistant, but was told that the rest of the people would have to return to the Afghan capital because they have no exit visas.

Slater told the Telegraph that he will continue to try and secure visas for them and called for help from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Home Office.

“The final blow to the op is that the UK are only granting myself and one of my executive assistants over the border today, and they haven’t even suggested they are going to issue the visas for some or the rest of my group,” he told the paper.

Ben Slater.
Ben Slater had already managed to get 67 people out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
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“It’s a complete disaster really. It’s disgusting. It’s beyond horrible,” Slater added.

Earlier, he told Sky News that his business “completely collapsed” after the Taliban takeover and that he focused his attention to helping people escape.

“We were obviously helping a lot of people evacuate, we managed to get 67 people out through requests because we were in the country, and then obviously we changed our decision to evacuate our own vulnerable staff, who were mainly women working in the sectors that are not too popular with the new regime,” Slater told the outlet.

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