SPANISH SOLDIERS AND DRIVER IN CLINK

The manager of a transport company in Afghanistan, Haji Dastgir Khan, spent ten days in jail for delivering alcoholic drinks to Spanish soldiers at the base in Qala-e-Now in the west of the country. As Moslems, Afghans are forbidden by law to drink alcoholic beverages but the authorities normally turn a blind eye when foreigners indulge. Khan manages the northern branch of the Ute Tecnoucal Ucalsa company which was paid 5,000 euros to deliver two lorry loads to the soldiers. On leaving jail last week, Khan told reporters said he had not known that the lorries contained forbidden alcoholic drinks. The Spanish military contingent claimed the drink as their property and asked the authorities to release the unsuspecting Khan, who was the victim of circumstances. Bad roads had made it impossible for him to reach the army base and he and the driver of the other lorry were forced to stop at a town several miles away. For some reason, the local police decided to inspect the lorries and discovered the crates of whiskey, wine and beer. As the manager of the operation, Khan ended up in a cell with 25 common criminals and it took several communications from the military base to get him released.

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