Archive for September 21, 2009

Crackdown launched against Xe private security companies, 3 guards arrested

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

The federal police conducted a search operation against several security companies in different sectors of the capital after recovering of illegal arms from the house of an owner of a security company and arrested three security guards.

According to sources, the late night operation was conducted by the police after getting red signal from the interior ministry.

The late night raids on other security companies were made after large cache of arms were seized from a company providing security to US diplomats. The police during the raid inquired about details of licenses of arms.

Kohsar Police has also arrested three security guards of security company on suspicion.

Sources told that the Interior Ministry after recovering of illegal arms in huge quantity from the owner of house of Inter-Risk Security Company has decided to conduct a survey of hiring 200 residential buildings by US embassy. Sources said that the decision has been taken to know objectives behind hiring these houses.

Meanwhile US Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire said the US contract with Inter-Risk to provide security at the embassy and consulates took effect this year. It is believed to be the first US contract for the firm, Snelsire said. He did not know how long the contract was for or what it was worth.

“Our understanding is they obtained licenses with whatever they brought into the country to meet the contractual needs,’’ he said. “We told the government that we had a contract with Inter-Risk.’’

A man who answered the phone number listed for the company and identified himself as Riaz Hussain said a raid had occurred, but gave no more information.

According to Inter-Risk’s website, it was first formed in 1988 and offers wireless home alarm systems as well as security guards and other services.

Though the US Embassy in Islamabad does have American security staff, much of the work is done by local workers. At checkpoints and gates leading to the embassy compound, for instance, Pakistani security guards inspect vehicles and log in visitors.

Scandals involving private contractors have dogged the United States in the Middle East and South Asia.

In Washington on Friday, the Commission on Wartime Contracting heard testimony about another contractor – ArmorGroup North America – involving alleged illegal and immoral conduct by its guards at the US Embassy in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, the Iraqi government refused to grant Xe Services – the new name for what was once Blackwater – an operating license amid continued outrage over a 2007 lethal firefight involving some of its employees in Baghdad, although the State Department has temporarily extended a contract with a Xe subsidiary to protect US diplomats in Iraq.

Many of the recent rumors in Pakistan have been prompted by US plans to expand its embassy space and staff.

Among the other unsubstantiated stories the United States denies: that 1,000 US Marines will land in the capital, and that Americans will set up a Guantanamo-style prison.