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U.S. troops, contractors indicted in Afghan bribery scheme

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  • Two U.S. troops, four contractors indicted on bribery, conspiracy charges
  • Indictments stem from military contracts that were awarded in Afghanistan
  • Contractors' companies face fines of up to $500,000
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two U.S. troops and a group of contractors have been indicted on charges they were part of a bribery scheme involving the awarding of military contracts in Afghanistan, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Maj. Christopher P. West, an Illinois National Guardsman and head of operations at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, was arrested Monday on charges of bribery and conspiracy.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick W. Boyd, a resident of Rockledge, Florida, and a contracting officer at Bagram, was arrested Tuesday on the same charges.

Contractors Assad John Ramin, Tahir Ramin, Noor Alam and Abdul Qudoos Bahkshi were also charged in the indictment.

Those indicted face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for bribery, and up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for conspiracy.

The contractors' companies face fines of up to $500,000 for bribery and conspiracy.

"We will aggressively prosecute individuals and companies who line their own pockets by corrupting the bidding process for base procurement in Afghanistan," said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "These contracts were meant to protect U.S. soldiers serving their country, and we will not tolerate corruption that deprives the troops of the benefits of competitively-sourced goods and services."

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