Paravant is a shell company for the private military contractor Blackwater, also known as Xe, which contracts with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Paravant, Blackwater and Xe are all owned by the same person, Erik Prince. Blackwater created Paravant to help shed the company's sullied image after several violent incidents which won the company negative notoriety and impacted its ability to win military contracts. Paravant did not reveal its connection with Blackwater/Xe when applying for military contracts. A Paravant employee checked out 500 AK-47 assault rifles from a bunker designed to hold weapons for the Afghan National Police, signing them out under the name "Eric Cartman," a character from the adult cable TV cartoon "South Park." Many of the rifles were never returned. Two days after Paravant diverted the weapons away from the Afghan National Army, one of its contractors was shot in the head by a second Paravant contractor, after his AK-47 accidentally discharged.
- Matthew Cole Blackwater: Senate Committee Says the Contractor Is Armed and Dangerous, ABC News, February 25, 2010
- Daniel Nasaw Blackwater workers took police assault rifles, hearing told UK Guardian, February 24, 2010
- Amy Davidson Cartman in Kabul The New Yorker; Close Read, Febuary 24, 2010