Loudon firm EODT sued for $3M, accused of stealing shelters in Afghanistan
By Bill Brewer Knoxville News Sentinel
Afghanistan isn't the only place where EOD Technology is facing conflict with foreign forces.
The Loudon County-based defense contractor finds itself under attack in a Knoxville federal court, accused of stealing at gunpoint more than $1 million worth of prefabricated shelters made from shipping containers used at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.
The incident allegedly occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 2009, when EODT security personnel stormed a compound used by a Kuwaiti prefab housing manufacturer in Kabul, Afghanistan. The lawsuit, which said the Kuwaiti company was paying EODT to protect the Kabul manufacturing compound, also claimed the EODT security guards loaded "housing modules" on 15 flatbed trucks while holding employees of the Kuwaiti manufacturer at gunpoint before leaving.
The suit, filed late last week in U.S. District Court, further stated that EODT's paramilitary personnel delivered some 90 housing modules to Bagram Air Field, where they are being used by U.S. service personnel, before Afghan police "halted further thefts." EODT is a contractor to the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan.
Kuwaiti temporary housing manufacturer MAKS Inc. General Trading & Contracting Co. and co-plaintiffs Gopalakrishna Pillai Ajeesh Kumar Kammarayil and Mohammed Azad Shabbir - who are India natives and MAKS employees - and three unidentified Afghan employees of MAKS are seeking compensatory and punitive damages of at least $3 million in the 11-count suit that accuses EODT of, among other things, assault, false imprisonment, negligence and breach of contract.
EODT contracted with MAKS to build and transfer 224 prefab housing modules and MAKS is awaiting payment of more than $2 million, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs say EODT and its subsidiary EODT General Security Co., EODT officials Matt Kaye and Mark Anderson and three unidentified security guards are responsible for launching the military-style invasion of their Kabul construction facility.
Neither EODT nor its officials named in the lawsuit could be reached for comment.
In the lawsuit, MAKS said EODT contracted with it in February 2009 to provide the temporary housing modules and then in June 2009 MAKS contracted with EODT General Security Co. to provide security for the Kabul construction facility. MAKS describes the plaintiffs as incompetent in carrying out their duties of providing proper management and security oversight in the construction of the housing units.
MAKS acknowledges that EODT raised objections to MAKS's fabrication of the housing units in Kuwait and some of the materials used before they were shipped to Afghanistan.