Taliban use loophole to escape paying over £125k in UK parking fines

Taliban show off haul of US and Allied military kit

The Taliban has provoked fury after it was revealed their UK officials are using a diplomatic convention to avoid paying road fines totalling more than £125,000.

Vehicles belonging to Afghan diplomats are said to have been regularly parked on double yellows or without the right permit.

The officials are reported to have racked up over 1000 unpaid fines, leaving London councils hopping mad and out of pocket.

Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham councils say they are owed almost £1million in unpaid fines from diplomats overall.

The Afghanistan embassy is one of the worst offenders – owing £104,300 alone to ­Westminster Council, the Sun reports.

Read more… NHS chaplain photographed with Taliban leaders on trip to Afghanistan

But the embassy is within its rights not to pay the bills due to a long standing diplomatic protocol.

Under the terms of the Vienna Convention, diplomats cannot be prosecuted and taken to court.

The totals in unpaid fines could be even higher than reported , as traffic wardens are reluctant to ticket diplomatic cars – knowing it is pointless.

The City of London Corporation said it wrote-off £680 worth of tickets owed by the Afghan embassy as it knew they would never be paid.

Hugh Bladon, of the Alliance of British Drivers, said: “Why should some embassy staff think they can park where they like for free?

“It is totally absurd.

“If they refuse to pay maybe we should deduct the cost from their aid budget.”

The Taliban seized power again in Afghanistan in 2021 after waging an insurgency against the US-backed government in Kabul since 2001.

The Taliban maintain close ties with factions from the Islamic extremists al-Qaeda.

Analysts are concerned that the Taliban could provide it with safe haven and allow it to launch international terrorist attacks from Afghan soil.

Under Taliban rule, Afghanistan’s economy has floundered and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost.

Most women have been banned from working and from attending educational institutions and places of higher learning.

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In the latest restrictions introduced against women, local Taliban officials are to reported to have banned girls over 10 years of age from attending primary school classes in some provinces of Afghanistan.

Officials from the Taliban-ruled Ministry of Education have told the principals of schools and short-term training classes in Ghazni province that “any girl over 10 years of age is not allowed to study in primary schools”, reported BBC Persian on Saturday.

A student in sixth grade, the standard to which the Taliban had permitted education last year, said that girls who are over 10 years old were not allowed to enter the school.

The report added that in some provinces, the local authorities of the “Ministry for Preaching and Guidance”, formerly the Women’s Affairs Ministry, separated girls based on age and asked the principals of the girls’ school to send the female students above the third grade home.

The hardline Islamist regime is the only administration across the world to prohibit nearly half of its population from obtaining secondary education.

Last month, the UN blamed the Taliban authorities for further increasing restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan in recent months, including on their education and employment.

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