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'Blackwater' firm to pay $50M to settle smuggling case

Private security, military contractor once known as Blackwater settles.

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In a file picture dated February 5 2005, members of the US-based Blackwater private security firm scan Baghdad from their helicopter. Blackwater was back on the streets of Baghdad four days after being grounded following a shooting incident in which 10 people were killed, a US official said. (MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

The private military and security contractor once known as Blackwater will pay almost $50 million to settle arms smuggling and related charges.

Academi, LLC, is to pay a $7.5-million fine and a $42-million settlement with the US State Department, NBC News in North Carolina reported today.

Blackwater was based in Moyock, North Carolina.

According to TV station WITN, federal court documents unsealed today show that Academi and the US Attorney General’s Office settled 17 violations using a “deferred prosecution agreement.”

The Associated Press said the charges include possession of automatic weapons in the US without registration, lying to federal regulators about providing weapons to Jordan, sharing secrets about armored personnel carriers with Swedish and Danish officials and shipping body armor overseas illegally.

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According to the court documents, Academi admits to violating the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations, WITN said.

In return, the feds recognize Academi’s attempts to correct its practices.

Blackwater trained, and provided security for, American personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, USA Today reported.

The company has held billions worth of security contracts.

Also, the Justice Department said recently it would bring new charges against four former Blackwater employees accused of killing 17 Iraqis five years ago.

An appeals case reinstated the charges last year after a judge dismissed the case in 2009.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120807/blackwater-firm-pay-50m-settle-smuggling-case