August 21, 2010 in Nation/World

Ex-Blackwater firm fined millions

Violations include sniper training, weapons exports
Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON – The troubled security firm formerly known as Blackwater will pay $42 million in fines to settle thousands of violations of U.S. export control regulations, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper reported on its website Friday that the Moyock, N.C.-based company now known as Xe Services reached a settlement agreement with the State Department.

The alleged violations included providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan and making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan, the newspaper said. The State Department requires government approval before the transfer of certain types of military technology or knowledge to other countries.

The settlement involves practices from before Blackwater was rebranded as Xe Services.

The private company provided guards and services to the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It became one of the most respected defense contractors in the world but also attracted sharp criticism over its role in those missions.

It has been trying to rehabilitate its image since a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that killed 17 people and outraged the Iraqi government. A federal grand jury has indicted five Blackwater officials on conspiracy weapons and obstruction of justice charges.

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