Blackwater agrees to pay $42 million fine

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, August 20, 2010 22:57 EDT
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Xe, the private security company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, has agreed to pay a 42 million dollar fine for violating US export regulations, The New York Times has reported.

Blackwater, which changed its name to Xe, gained notoriety in Iraq after guards protecting a convoy opened fire in a busy Baghdad square in September 2007, killing as many as 17 civilians.

The fine is relating to hundreds of violations, including illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, the Times reported, citing company and government officials familiar with the deal.

The unannounced settlement comes after lengthy talks between Xe and State Department lawyers that allow the company to avoid criminal charges, the Times said.

Five executives from the controversial company still face indictment on weapons charges, while at least two ex-employees face murder charges after two Afghans died in Kabul in May 2009.

Despite the fines, Xe can still compete for government contracts, the Times said.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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