Erik Prince, the founder of the security firm Blackwater, has landed into yet another controversy, but this time in China.
The vexed mercenary and logistics company, Frontier Services Group (FSG), which is also funded by Erik Prince, boasted on its website about the deal to build a training center in Xinjiang region. This far west region in China is infamous for billeting at least a million of detained Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government. Later, the statement was removed from the website.
Erik Prince came under the limelight while Blackwater carried out business motives in Iraq, where the company faced bad press. Its employees were charged for noncombatant deaths in Baghdad, including the killing of 14 weaponless Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Under the pressure, the company shifted its headquarters from the United States to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Subsequently in the late 2000s, the UAE Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Zayed contracted out Prince’s company to build up an elite mercenary army.
Erik Prince received $529 million as the contractual amount, and he was asked to report to the Crown Prince personally.
Although, leaving the US did not help Blackwater in avoiding criticism from the opinion leaders. Discredited by the censure, Prince later vended Blackwater and established FSG, the company in question.
Erik Prince’s and the UAE connection was revealed few months after Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 election. It was reported that the ex-Navy Seal officer was a key attendee of covert meeting in Seychelles between the UAE, Russia and a Trump ally.
The detainment of Uighur Muslims in indoctrination camps has drawn denunciation by the Washington.
According to a spokesman, Prince – a minority shareholder and deputy chairman of FSG – claimed that he was unaware of the deal, which is in its initial stages, and would need the approval of all board members before taking off.