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Erik Prince is planning to charge $6,500 per seat on a chartered evacuation flight out of Kabul.
Non-profits and others are engaged in altruistic efforts to help evacuate vulnerable Afghans.
Experts say it's unlikely the US and its allies will be able to evacuate everyone eligible by the August 31 withdrawal deadline.
Erik Prince, a military defense contractor and Republican operative, is planning to charge $6,500 per seat on a chartered evacuation flight out of Kabul, Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Prince said the fee would cover entry to the airport and the flight out, but he would charge passengers more if they require transport to the airport from within the capitol city.
At the same time, a slew of private groups, including non-profits, are helping evacuate vulnerable Afghans and others. But some chartered flights are leaving Kabul with dozens of empty seats because Afghans and foreigners can't get through Taliban checkpoints or US marine checkpoints at the airport, the Journal reported.
Related video: Thousands try to flee Afghanistan after Taliban takes control
Evacuations are largely scheduled to end by Friday in order to give the US military time to close down its operations at the Hamid Karzai International Airport ahead of its August 31 withdrawal deadline. Biden has refused to extend the deadline to continue evacuations, a decision many Democratic lawmakers have criticized. Since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 14, US troops have evacuated more than 70,000 people, including more than 4,000 Americans and their families, according to the State Department.
But it's unclear how many Americans and others eligible for evacuation remain in Afghanistan. The International Rescue Committee estimates that 300,000 Afghans are at high risk of being targeted by the Taliban for their work with the US. The Biden administration has estimated that thousands more Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans eligible for special immigrant visas because of their work for US forces are still stuck in the country. US troops have been conducting special operations to retrieve Americans in certain areas of Taliban-controlled Kabul, but many Americans are believed to be scattered around the country.
Prince, who founded the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide, met with then-President Donald Trump's White House advisors in 2017 about his proposal to privatize the US military operation in Afghanistan. Prince's work in the war-for-profit space has been deeply controversial. In 2014, four Blackwater contractors were convicted of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in a 2007 massacre.
Related video: Afghan cafe was safe space for women before Taliban rule
Prince violated a UN arms embargo on Libya by delivering weapons and foreign mercenaries to a militia leader planning to overthrow the country's internationally-supported government in 2019, a confidential UN investigation found earlier this year.
Prince's sister, Betsy DeVos, was Trump's education secretary and Prince has long been closely allied with Trump and involved in Republican politics. He worked with the far-right group Project Veritas to recruit former British and American spies to infiltrate progressive groups and labor unions, The New York Times reported last year.
Read the original article on Business Insider