Blackwater founder Erik Prince is among the growing number of private defense contractors and former spies who are attempting to turn a profit on desperate Afghans who want out of their country before the U.S. shutters its 20-year mission on August 31. The Wall Street Journal reports that Prince, who faces U.N. sanctions over his sketchy work in Libya and whose Blackwater guards were convicted of murder in 2014 while providing security for Americans in Iraq, told the WSJ he is charging upwards of $6,500 a seat on a private charter out of Kabul. The paper was not able to confirm whether Prince even had the capabilities to carry out private evacuations.
Other private entities are offering over ground travel despite increased checkpoints on the way to the Pakistan border. Meanwhile, efforts have stepped up to evacuate as many Americans, green card holders and eligible Afghans before the hard deadline. On Tuesday, the U.S. military began its own withdrawal preparations to be ready to remove all staff and equipment by next week.