Friday, May 08, 2009

Afghanistan: Salvaged cars roam the streets of Kabul

More than seven years after the fall of the Taliban, the streets of Kabul are gridlocked with cars, many of them so rickety they failed roadworthy tests at home and were shipped off to Afghanistan instead.

Importing vehicles into Afghanistan has become one of the most lucrative businesses in the country as vast injections of foreign cash help the economy recover from years of civil war followed by austerity and sanctions during the Taliban era, Reuters informs.

But unscrupulous traders are exploiting a lack of import regulations to ship in vehicles that fail safety tests in other countries, officials and dealers say.

"Afghan traders mostly import Japanese Toyota cars that are second-hand and salvaged," said Amir Mohammad, a police officer in charge of Kabul's crowded city center.

Some 90 percent of used cars were bought in Germany and Canada and then shipped to Afghanistan via Dubai and an overland route from Iran.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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