Three Afghanistan National Army officers who vanished during training in Massachusetts apparently had one last night on the town before fleeing for the Canadian border — they paid a visit to a Cape Cod strip club, NBC affiliate WHDH in Boston reported Tuesday.
“They were nice, they tipped, they were very generous. They were sweet, respectful,” Zachary’s Pub dancer Melissa McNeely told the station. She said the trio were part of a group of eight that visited the pub early Saturday morning.
The three soldiers were apprehended as they tried to cross the U.S. border and into Canada near Niagara Falls Monday, after leaving Camp Edwards on Joint Base Cape Cod Saturday for a mall shopping trip from which they never returned.
The trio, who were part of a group of 200 soldiers and civilians from several countries training in the U.S., were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday, officials said. The agency told NBC News the officers face removal proceedings after being charged with administrative immigration violations.
McNeely told WHDH she was surprised to see the missing officers’ faces on television. “I just simply thought they were just military guys looking to go have a good time,” she told WHDH. Several officials told NBC News the Afghan soldiers — identified as Afghan soldiers, identified as Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, Capt. Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Capt. Noorullah Aminyar — likely tried to go to Canada to avoid being sent back to Afghanistan.