Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Burma's citizens still jailed for speaking their minds

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Colombia: FARC disarmament leads to baby boom

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

French presidential election: Comparing Macron and Le Pen's economic proposals

Read more

ENCORE!

Deep Purple: 'To plan a last gig, that's very frightening!'

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

#SansMoiLe7Mai: Voters debate whether to abstain in French run-off

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya: At least one dead in violence linked to election primaries

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

French presidential election: The view from Berlin

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump's tax plan is 'too thin and too late'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Trump's tax reform: A 'home run' or 'laughable stunt'?

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)