Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Americas

US security firm fined $7.5 million for arms smuggling

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-08

A US security firm, which held lucrative contracts in Iraq, has been slapped with a $7.5 million fine for smuggling arms. The firm formerly known as Blackwater agreed to pay the fine to avoid prosecution, the Justice Department said.

AFP - The security firm formerly known as Blackwater has agreed to pay a fine of $7.5 million to avoid US prosecution for smuggling arms, the Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday.

The company, now known as Academi, will pay the fine in addition to a previously agreed $42 million settlement with the State Department over violations of the Arms Export Control Act, the Justice Department said.

Under the agreement, the company previously known as Blackwater Worldwide and as Xe Services "admits certain facts" following a five-year, multi-agency federal investigation, said Thomas Walker, a prosecutor in North Carolina.

The probe "covered an array of criminal allegations," some "involving the manufacture and shipment of short-barreled rifles, fully automatic weapons, armored helicopters, armored personnel carriers," said the statement.

The company had also faced allegations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act regarding its conduct in Iraq and Sudan in relation to unlicensed training of foreign nationals and firearms violations.

Blackwater became notorious following a September 16, 2007 incident in which five of its guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy opened fire in Baghdad's busy Nisur Square, killing at least 14 Iraqi civilians.

The company was then the largest private security firm employed by the Americans in Iraq, but it pulled out of the country in May 2009 after the State Department refused to renew its contracts.

The Nisur Square incident became a running sore among the Iraqi population, but the company always maintained that its guards opened fire in self-defense.

Blackwater Worldwide first changed its name -- to Xe Services -- in February 2009, following what it said was a change of business focus.

Critics suggested that the rebranding was an effort to polish an image tarnished by an alleged culture of lawlessness and lack of accountability among Blackwater staff.

The company then changed its name again -- from Xe Services to Academi -- in December 2011.

Date created : 2012-08-08

  • LIBYA

    Dead French contractor 'jeopardised the revolution'

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Karzai delays ban on private security firms, calls for review

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    US money for security contracts flows to warlords, Taliban

    Read more

COMMENT(S)