NEW YORK (Reuters) - The private security
contractor previously known as Blackwater Worldwide, which has
protected U.S. officials in Afghanistan and Iraq, has agreed to
pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of U.S.
export rules, the New York Times reported Friday.
The violations included illegal weapons exports to
Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in
southern Sudan and providing sniper training for police in
Taiwan, the Times reported, citing unnamed company and
government officials familiar with the deal.
The newspaper reported that by reaching the agreement with
the U.S. State Department to pay the fines, the company -- now
called Xe Services -- avoids criminal charges over the
violations of U.S. export control regulations.
The privately held company, based in North Carolina, is up
for sale, the Times noted. The settlement does not resolve
other legal troubles still facing the company and its former
executives and other personnel, the Times said.
Those issues include the indictments of five former
executives on weapons and obstruction charges, a federal probe
into whether company officials tried to bribe Iraqi officials,
and the arrest of two former Blackwater guards on federal
murder charges in the killing of two Afghans.
A U.S. court has dismissed charges against Blackwater
guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in
2007. A federal investigation into Blackwater's weapons
shipments to Iraq brought guilty pleas from two former
By paying fines instead of facing criminal charges on the
export violations, the company will be able to continue to
receive government contracts, according to the Times.
According to the Times, a company spokeswoman confirmed the
settlement but a State Department spokesman declined comment.
The newspaper noted that the company lost its largest
federal contract last year, providing diplomatic security for
U.S. Embassy personnel in Baghdad, but it still has contracts
to provide security for the State Department and CIA in
(Reporting by Chris Michaud)