Sunday, August 22, 2010
According to a New York Times report, the controversial private security firm formerly known as Blackwater (now Xe), has reached a settlement with the U.S. State Department pursuant to which the firm has agreed to pay $42 million in fines for violations of U.S. export control regulations. The fines relate to charges that the firm engaged in illegal exports of weapons and other military equipment to Afghanistan and Iraq, unauthorized sniper training of Taiwanese police, and unauthorized proposals to train troops in Sudan. Blackwater was charged with 288 violations of the U.S. export control laws between 2003 and 2009. These laws are primarily designed to regulate the export of sensitive technology that may have military applications. As a result of the settlement, the firm will not face criminal sanctions for these actions and will be allowed to participate in government contracts.