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An Englishman & an Irishman in the Congo...Avient

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An Englishman & an Irishman in the Congo...Avient

Old 10th Sep 2006, 07:51
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An Englishman & an Irishman in the Congo...Avient

Interesting article in today's (UK) Sunday Times about cargo in the Congo......
"Smith has denied responsibility for the actions of his aircrews in the Congo. He said: “It is a matter of record that I worked for a company which assisted the government of the DRC to locate crews to fly transport aircraft and helicopters.

“It is also a matter of record that the company was not responsible for the activities of any crew. This lay directly with the legally recognised government of the country. It was also a policy that the company would not comment on matters of state or government.

“The company I was working for at the time was not a UK entity and its activities were conducted with full disclosure to the authorities relevant to its base of operations.”

He now runs his Avient air cargo business from his Wiltshire home, a world away from the war-scarred Congo, and says his fleet of aircraft fly the world. A former officer in the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, Smith is a well-known local figure. He recently presented the prize to the winner of the ladies’ race at a Royal Artillery point-to-point at Larkhill."
Sunday Times

Last edited by mr Q; 10th Sep 2006 at 07:53. Reason: too many words and references
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 08:09
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MR Q

Any chance you could elaborate a bit further on the details of this article? Were the crew doing a nixer carrying "Mining Equipment" & got an A/C Inspection and got caught or was it something else?
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 10:01
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Flying Mech:
This is the url

www.timesonline.co.uk

You have to register but registration is,I think, free.
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 17:00
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Direct link;
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...0645_1,00.html
I do hope that Smith, one of the most thoroughly despicable & unlikeable characters it's ever been my displeasure to meet, finally gets what he deserves.
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 20:53
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he may think that highly of you also
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 22:07
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Originally Posted by finnman View Post
he may think that highly of you also
Unlikely. After all, I don't seem to be responsible for perpetuating widespread suffering of innocent people. (& my understanding of the newspapers investigations is that we havn't heard everything they have to say)
Maybe you'll have to go & find a job at a proper company T!
Cheers!!

[edit] Forgot to say, please don't grace him with the concept of me caring what he thinks about me or anyone else on the planet!
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 10:09
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Smith, Obrien, and John Breedenkamp knew full well that they were supplying mercenaries to the DRC and were fully aware that they were bombing civilians. I witnessed their actions.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 09:21
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Originally Posted by napoleon View Post
Smith, Obrien, and John Breedenkamp knew full well that they were supplying mercenaries to the DRC and were fully aware that they were bombing civilians. I witnessed their actions.
Interested to hear that you 'witnessed their actions', since I part wrote the Sunday Times article - would be delighted to have a long, long coversation with you ( and I'll buy the beer) regarding exactly what you saw, where and when..
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 12:04
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First: I dont drink with jerks like you, Second: I see that you wrote nothing over and above what was supplied to the Times by the NGO that did the investigation. Gutter Journo's like you are the scum of the earth.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 14:02
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Here we go again, "journo jerks..." et ****ing cetera. It never seems to stop on PPRuNe. Of course we all understand that mere "journos" shouldn't have the temerity to comment on the sacred space of aviation, much less question the attitudes of PILOTS for heaven's sake. Thos contributors that claim to be pillocks, sorry pilots, no doubt are, without exception.
"napoleon" - that says it all really. If you know so much [email protected], let's all hear it.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 14:32
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Cargo Cult I have read your post. I figured out you are not a scummy Journo from your use of English, I can only assume you have spent too much time asleep on toxic cargo.........whats your point? I am not posting what I saw on prune as it may spoil an ongoing investigation.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 20:53
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War is not nice

It may have escaped the notice of everyone here that WAR IS NOT NICE.
People get killed, mained injured. Mercenaries just do a job that most people don't want to do. Both sides in war claim the moral high ground that they are right and the others are wrong. All killing is wrong but it has gone on for 3000 years; at least and I doubt it will stop in my life time! Before too much dirt is slung perhaps time to reflect that BLiar has much blood on his hands too! And he is supposed to be the Great New Labour Leader!
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 14:25
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Is this the same Avient that have DC10 register in Zimbabwe but never come here? We always wonder what is going on with this company. We hear many storys but never see aircraft. Everything very suspicious as we told it is based in France with french people flying for Zimbabwe company. Now we see that Avient seem to be having interesting history. This is not good for aviation in Zimbabwe as it has a bad reputation already and now it seems that cargo airline is being used as a military aircraft? How were they allowed to do this?
Do french people know of this, will they let them continue now it is in papers?
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 15:06
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Capt Moyo Yes shamwari it is the same Smith and the same Avient. Part of John Breedenkamps empire. They are a bunch of unconvicted murderous criminals..........but the net is closing in on them fast.
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 15:28
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Just a reminder..., read the March 5th 2003 Rwanda and Great Lakes debate in the UK Parliament http://www.appggreatlakes.org/cgi-bi...entary_Debates.
Search for: "... to British business man Andrew Smith, who is a former Royal Engineers captain. He manages Avient Air, which supplied six attack helicopters to the Kinshasa Government and ..." etcetera !
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 17:15
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Is this finnman who post earlier one of the criminals, he seem to support this smith with his comment?
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 18:26
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Dunno but anyone who supports Smith and Co is either one of them or has a deathwish.
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 19:47
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'Capt Moyo'.... I think we may have met, on-board that very DC-10....... did you have a connection with Kent?

Originally Posted by napoleon View Post
Capt Moyo Yes shamwari it is the same Smith and the same Avient. Part of John Breedenkamps empire. They are a bunch of unconvicted murderous criminals..........but the net is closing in on them fast.


I'd love to see Smiths reply, here, in-public, to this...... if he had the backbone to do so....

Originally Posted by snarfel View Post
Just a reminder..., read the March 5th 2003 Rwanda and Great Lakes debate in the UK Parliament http://www.appggreatlakes.org/cgi-bi...entary_Debates.
Search for: "... to British business man Andrew Smith, who is a former Royal Engineers captain. He manages Avient Air, which supplied six attack helicopters to the Kinshasa Government and ..." etcetera !
And also;

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."

Originally Posted by capt.moyo View Post
Is this finnman who post earlier one of the criminals, he seem to support this smith with his comment?
Don't know if he's a criminal or not but I do know that he works for Smith and that it could therefore be argued, supports him.
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 20:04
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Originally Posted by mr Q View Post
He now runs his Avient air cargo business from his Wiltshire home, a world away from the war-scarred Congo, and says his fleet of aircraft fly the world.
Is it not possible that he didn't know what his own staff were doing, if indeed he was a 'world-away'?
FSM
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Old 13th Sep 2006, 20:41
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Originally Posted by FlyingSpannerMan View Post
Is it not possible that he didn't know what his own staff were doing, if indeed he was a 'world-away'?
FSM
FFS!!!

No, never, not a chance.

To answer your question (if it was a question & not a joke! ), Smith tries to control everything crews do. Just ask any of the DC-10 crew how often the sat-phone used to ring with fresh 'instructions'. The idea of any of his employees acting without his knowledge is, I think, laughable.
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