Erik Prince, who founded Blackwater, at company headquarters in Moyock, N.C., in 2008.
The company formerly known as Blackwater (now renamed Xe Services) has agreed to pay $42 million in fines, thereby avoiding criminal charges for the hundreds of alleged export violations it committed as a leading private contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But it’s not the end of Blackwater’s legal troubles. Five former executives have been indicted on weapons and obstruction charges, and there’s a probe into allegations that Blackwater tried to bribe Iraqi government officials. —JCL
The New York Times:
The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, according to company and government officials familiar with the deal.
The settlement, which has not yet been publicly announced, follows lengthy talks between Blackwater, now called Xe Services, and the State Department that dealt with the violations as an administrative matter, allowing the firm to avoid criminal charges. A company spokeswoman confirmed Friday that a settlement had been reached. The State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, said he could not immediately comment.
... By paying fines rather than facing criminal charges on the export violations, Blackwater will be able to continue to obtain government contracts. While the company lost its largest federal contract last year to provide diplomatic security for United States Embassy personnel in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government was incensed by killings of Iraqis in one highly publicized case, it still has contracts to provide security for the State Department and the C.I.A. in Afghanistan.