Chiquita Charged With Doing Business With Terrorists

Polar Bear

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Gee I would never guessed :rolleyes:

http://www.wcpo.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=3820e65d-9054-4de3-8f09-ab3c0922c794
Chiquita Charged With Doing Business With Terrorists



Federal prosecutors have charged Chiquita Brands International with doing business with a terrorist organization.
Chiquita is a banana company based in Cincinnati.
Prosecutors said the company and several un-named high-ranking corporate officers did business with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.
The group is described in court documents as a violent right-wing organization that the US has designated as a terrorist organization.
Prosecutors said the company also did business with the Leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. In court documents, prosecutors said the payments were approved by senior executives and corporate books were kept to conceal the deals.
 

Polar Bear

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There business practices have not always been ethical. Some how they stay out of the national spot light. But the local news hammers them about once a year
 

Paddlefoot

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When they say they were "doing business" with them, is that shorthand for "we were paying them protection money so they wouldn't disrupt our business operations"?

I haven't read the article yet, but I saw the headline on yahoo. Makes you wonder if some other corporations aren't bankrolling some of these groups, too.
 
L

Looon

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You show me a company that made it big totally legally, and Ill show you one that didn't.

Same thing with rich people. Unless you inherit money or win the lotto, somebody got fucked somewhere. Id put money on it.:uhh:
 

Chopstick

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Oh man..does this mean I have to stop eating bananas. Cant we just clone them here or something?:doh:
 

Gypsy

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Well, there's always Dole bananas.

Either that or we'll just have to boycott and not have any banana splits. :( LOL. Hell, I haven't had one of those in years...mmmyum.
 

Chopstick

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http://money.cnn.com/2007/03/14/news/companies/chiquita/index.htm?cnn=yes

This is finally on the cnn home page.

Chiquita to plead guilty to ties with terrorists
Federal authorities say the banana producer made transactions with terrorist organizations.
March 14 2007: 6:54 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Chiquita Brands International entered a plea agreement with federal authorities on charges that it engaged in transactions with a terrorist organization.

The company agreed to pay a $25 million fine regarding the investigation of protection payments made by the company's former banana-producing subsidiary in Colombia.

Shares of Chiquita (up $0.25 to $12.75, Charts) fell nearly 1 percent in after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

The announcement came moments after U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jeffrey Taylor accused the Cincinnati-based banana producer with paying - through its Colombia subsidiary Banadex - a right-wing paramilitary group in Urabá and Santa Marta, two areas of Colombia where Chiquita grew bananas.

"From in or about 1997 though on or about Feb. 4, 2004, defendant Chiquita made over 100 payments to the AUC [United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia] totaling over $1.7 million," the 17-page information said.

It said Chiquita had also paid money to two left-wing organizations from about 1989 until about 1997, when those groups controlled areas where the company grew bananas. It identified the groups as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army).

The company recently pushed back its annual report to amend an agreement with lenders after taking a charge related the federal investigation.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will pay the fine in five annual installments. The agreement is subject to approval and acceptance by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Chiquita did not file its annual report by March 1 as required and now expects to file it on March 16. It is seeking approval of an amendment with lenders under a June 28 credit agreement, it said.

In a Feb. 22 filing, Chiquita said it had voluntarily disclosed that its Colombian banana-producing subsidiary, which it sold in June 2004, had made payments to certain groups there that were designated as "foreign terrorist organizations" under U.S. law.

Following the disclosure, the Justice Department initiated a criminal investigation to examine the role and conduct of the company and some of its officers in the matter, the company said in that filing.

Terrorist payments
The company began making the payments after a general manager for Banadex met with the then leader of the AUC, Carlos Castaño, the information said.

Castaño told the company's general manager that the AUC was preparing to drive FARC from Urabá and asked for payments to be made to the AUC through private security companies, the information added.

"Castaño sent an unspoken but clear message that failure to make the payments could result in physical harm to Banadex personnel and property," it said. Senior company executives knew about the payoffs to AUC, the information said.

Though the checks were written to security companies, the companies provided no actual services.

In 2002, after the U.S. government designated the AUC a terrorist organization, Chiquita began paying the AUC in cash, turning over more than $1 million and continuing to pay even after outside counsel told the company that the payments were illegal and should stop immediately, the information said.

In a written statement, Chiquita Brands International's CEO Fernando Aguirre said the information is part of a plea agreement, "which we view as a reasoned solution to the dilemma the company faced several years ago."

He said Chiquita voluntarily disclosed the payments to the Justice Department in 2003, saying they were made "to protect the lives of its employees."

He added, "The company made this disclosure shortly after senior management became aware that these groups had been designated as foreign terrorist organizations under a U.S. statute that makes it a crime to make payments to such organizations. Since voluntarily disclosing this information, Chiquita has continued to cooperate with the DOJ's investigation."

--CNN's Katy Byron and Reuters contributed to this report
 

Polar Bear

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Just a slap on the wrist :rolleyes:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,259622,00.html
Chiquita Pleads Guilty to Doing Business With Terrorists

Monday , March 19, 2007
WASHINGTON —
Banana company Chiquita Brands International admitted in federal court Monday that, for years, it paid terrorists to protect its Colombian banana-growing operations.

The company pleaded guilty to one count of doing business with a terrorist organization. The plea is part of a deal with prosecutors that calls for a $25 million fine.
The agreement ends a lengthy Justice Department investigation into the company's financial dealings with right-wing paramilitaries and leftist rebels the U.S. government deems terrorist groups.
Prosecutors say the Cincinnati-based company and several unnamed high-ranking corporate officers agreed to pay about $1.7 million between 1997 and 2004 to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, known as AUC for its Spanish initials.
The AUC has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. The U.S. government designated the right-wing militia a terrorist organization in September 2001.
Prosecutors said the company made the payments in exchange for protection for its workers. In addition to paying the AUC, prosecutors said, Chiquita made payments to the National Liberation Army, or ELN, and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as control of the company's banana-growing area shifted.
Chiquita stock has risen sharply since the deal was announced last week. Company shares were trading down 6 cents at $13.46 in midmorning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
 

Paddlefoot

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This coming from the banana connoisseur :eek:

This, coming from a closet cucumber connoisseur. What's the world coming to?:D :eek:

When I was in Saudi, my CWO gave me the opportunity to walk through one of the bigger towns closer to the border, and I stopped at a produce stand in the souk. Most of the stuff we get here from places in Central America they obtain from the Phillipines.

So, I decide to get a bunch of bananas, they were just about the right ripeness. Here's what the vendor proceeded to do, and I'm not sure to this day whether this was a custom of some sort or if he was fucking with me:

He breaks the bananas open at the base of the stem on top, exposing them to the elements. Again, I didn't know the reason, and I didn't act quickly enough to stop him. So, I'm stuck with about 5 bananas that, if not eaten promptly, will go to waste.

I told a friend this story a couple of years back, and he said that wouldn't have been unusual, that the vendor was just checking for spiders or some such nonsense.

I still think the dude was messing with me. Didn't want to create an international incident, so I just paid for them and left. Wound up eating all of the bananas on the way back to camp.:mad:
 
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