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Old 28th Nov 2009, 14:15   #36 (permalink)
overlength
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 10
A quick search on Freight Dogs and you will find a lot written about this airline and its owner Mr. Andrew Smith.

This is a Zimbabwean airline with headquarters in Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom. It operated from Vatry France for years and then in Sept this year did a moonlight flight to Liege Belgium allegedly leaving behind massive debts, then almost out of nowhere a month later they get a MD11F and within a couple of weeks of operating the aircraft this happens......

Some links previously posted:


UN Criticizes UK for Failing to Clamp Down on Mercenaries - Financial Times
"Avient provided military assistance to the unelected Congolese government's air force in 1999 and 2000 during the war against rebel forces. "

How a Perfect English Gent in a Rural Idyll Profits From a Bloody African War - Observer
"But an Observer investigation has uncovered evidence that behind the doors of a luxury house on the edge of the village, Andrew Smith runs a business empire which has made a fortune from a bloody African civil war that has claimed millions of lives. "

How British Army Man Organised Bombing Raids, Mercenary Operations - The East African
"The Observer newspaper also alleges that Smith ran a mercenary operation in the DRC and had documents showing that the former army captain had traded with the notorious Ukrainian arms dealer Leonid Minin (see The EastAfrican, November 18-24)."

UN cuts details of Western profiteers from Congo report, The Independent
"Avient is run by a former British Army captain, Andrew Smith. In the last panel report, the company was said to have been contracted to stage bombing raids over eastern Congo in 1999 and 2000. It also allegedly sold six attack helicopters to the Kinshasa government last year. "

Final Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - UN Security Council - S/2002/1146
"In April 2002, Avient Air brokered the sale of six attack helicopters to the Kinshasa Government. Bank records show several transactions between Avient and accused trafficker Leonid Minim. Under the management of Andrew Smith, a former British army captain, Gerry O'Brien and Lewis Kling, Avient was contracted to organize bombing raids into eastern D.R. Congo in 1999 and 2000."

A Catalogue of Failures: G8 Arms Exports and Human Rights Violations - Amnesty International
"Another example is the Zimbabwean company, Avient, with management links to the UK, which was reported to have hired Russian aircraft and air crew to support the government of Laurent Kabila in the Congo with "air drops", and also admitted to repairing and maintaining Russian MIG fighters for the Kabila regime."

Regulating weapons deals: The case for European Controls on arms brokers - Oxfam
(pdf file, right-click & save)
"British citizen, Andrew Smith, resident in Wiltshire, was named by a UN report for organising bombing raids in DRC on behalf of President Joseph Kabila. He is also alleged to have brokered the sale of six attack helicopters to DRC government last April. He side-stepped EU arms embargos by operating through his company, Avient, registered in Zimbabwe."
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