Blackwater accused of bagging US Govt contracts through plethora of dummy companies

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Washington, Sep 4 (ANI): To get millions of dollars of US Government business and contracts, Blackwater Worldwide, the 'controversial' security firm, formed a network of more than 30 shell companies and subsidiaries after the company was criticized for its reckless conduct in Iraq.

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee's investigation into government contracting.

The exact number of shell companies that bagged contract is not clear, but three of them had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials.

Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to 600 million dollars in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a US Government official.

The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007, The New York Times reports.

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that it was worth "looking into why Blackwater would need to create the dozens of other names."

Levin said he had requested that the Justice Department investigate whether Blackwater officers misled the government when using subsidiaries to solicit contracts.

The C.I.A.'s continuing relationship with the company, which recently was awarded a 100 million dollars contract to provide security at agency bases in Afghanistan, has drawn harsh criticism from some members of Congress. (ANI)

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