Chiquita Brands International Inc said that it would plead guilty to one count of doing business with a terrorist group, ending a three-year US government probe into payments made by the banana firm's former Colombian unit.
Chiquita, one of the world's largest banana producers, said it would pay a fine of $25 million as part of the settlement with the US Department of Justice.
The Justice Department filed in federal court in Washington a document detailing the payments made to a group called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a violent right-wing group that has been designated by the US as a foreign terrorist organization.
The company made over 100 payments to the group from 1997 to February 2004 totaling more than $1.7 million, according to the court document.
That included more than 50 payments exceeding $825,000 after the group was designated a foreign terrorist organization in September 2001.
The payments were approved by senior executives at the Cincinnati-based firm, according to court documents.
Source: China Daily/AFP