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Missing Afghan soldiers got ‘very excited,’ lived it up in strip club before vanishing

Posted at 1:40 PM, Sep 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-24 13:40:41-04

The three Afghan National Army officers who disappeared while guests of the U.S. military at a training exercise in Massachusetts spent the night before they went missing at a strip club, police said.

The owner of Zachary’s Pub, a strip club in Mashpee, Massachusetts, notified police that that they believed Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar were at the club Friday night, according to Lt. John Santangelo of the Mashpee Police Department.

The men went missing Saturday and turned up Monday in the custody of Canadian border guards at the Rainbow Bridge, a checkpoint on the border at Niagara Falls. They are now being charged with immigration violations.

The men were in civilian clothes and were part of a group of about eight people, said Richard Halpern, the club’s owner.


The cashier said she recognized one of the men immediately because had asked her a number of questions, including what you could and couldn’t do in the club, how much a dance cost, etc. She said the group mingled with the girls and had a few drinks.

“They were doing whatever a normal guy does when they go to a strip club,” he said, adding that they “stayed for a couple of hours and left at 1 a.m.”

Halpern said he received a call from military officials shortly after midnight on Saturday describing the missing soldiers and asking if he had seen them.

“Some of the girls said they didn’t seem to understand what they were doing,” Halpern told CNN. “It looked like it was their first time in a club.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials took custody of the three Tuesday morning, Massachusetts ICE spokesman Daniel Modricker told CNN.

Dancer WCVB

“They had a bunch of money out. And I came over to them and started dancing for them. They were very nice and they were very excited,” one dancer said.

They are being charged with administrative immigration violations and have been placed into removal proceedings, the spokesman said.

The men arrived in the United States on September 11 for the annual Exercise Regional Cooperation and were quartered at Joint Base Cape Cod, according to the Massachusetts National Guard. The training included troops from six nations.