The Free and The Forgotten

Free thanks to his family.

After a horrendous ordeal, British security manager Bill Shaw is on his way home.  Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the terrible injustice suffered by the G4S manager.  Back in April, Mr. Shaw was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $25,000 for allegedly bribing Afghan officials to release two impounded G4S vehicles.  Earlier this month, an Afghan appeals court finally threw out the charges against Mr. Shaw, citing insufficient evidence.

I cannot begin to imagine the hell that Bill Shaw has been through.  By all accounts he is a manager of impeccable integrity who believed he had paid a legitimate fine to a member of the NDS, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.  In fact, it was his attempt to obtain a receipt for the payment that resulted in his arrest and incarceration.  Sadly, Mr. Shaw learned the hard way what happens to honest men in Afghanistan.  He spent four months in Kabul’s notorious Pul-i-Charki prison alongside murderers, Taliban and hardcore jihadists who put a $10,000 bounty on his head.    Continue reading

Bombs, Bullets and Political Pissing Matches

Private security contractors working for Western PSCs in Kabul added another occupational hazard to their already considerable portfolio this week after Bill Shaw, a manager for Britain’s largest security firm was convicted of bribery by an Afghan court and sentenced to two years in prison.  I have no doubt that Mr. Shaw was acting in good faith when he paid a $20,000 fine for the release of two improperly licensed vehicles owned by his employer, G4S; parent company of ArmorGroup.  By all accounts, he is an upstanding manager who got caught in a political pissing match between Karzai’s government and the West over who is fuelling corruption in Afghanistan. Continue reading