posted on May, 16 2004 @ 11:09 AM
Chiquita Brands International Inc. said it has paid protection money to terrorist organizations in Colombia to protect its employees there and
voluntarily reported this to the U.S. Justice Department a year ago.
The Justice Department, it said, in turn has launched an investigation into the payments and will be "evaluating the role and conduct of the company
and some of its officers." The company said it is cooperating with the investigation and doesn't consider itself or its employees to be targets of
In a statement released yesterday afternoon, the company said it made the disclosure to the Justice Department because the company's management
became aware that these groups -- which it didn't name -- had been designated as foreign terrorist organizations under a U.S. statute that makes it a
crime to support such an organization.
The company said it made its disclosure to the Justice Department in April 2003 and requested "guidance." A Justice Department spokesman declined to
The company said the payments were made by the company's banana-producing subsidiary in Colombia "to certain groups in that country which have been
designated under United States law as foreign terrorist organizations."