Andrew Smith (mercenary)

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
Smith, 49, a former captain of the Royal Engineers, who runs his firm Avient from his home, faces claims that one of his companies was involved in mercenary-style operations deep in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also faces allegations that he has been trading with a notorious arms dealer, Ukrainian-born Leonid Minin.
A United Nations report has accused Smith of organising bombing raids in the DRC on behalf of President Joseph Kabila to suppress rebel forces. It is alleged that three years ago Avient received $30,000 a month for recruiting crew from Ukraine to fly in Russian-made Antonovs behind enemy lines in 1999 and 2000.[1]
Under a crewing agreement Smith had signed with General Joseph Kabila, the future president of the Congo, on September 21, 1999, Avient undertook to provide aircrew who would “operate along and behind the enemy lines in support of ground troops and against the invading forces”.
Pelham claims he found that Ukrainian and Russian aircrews recruited by Avient on behalf of the Congolese airforce were flying blanket bombing raids that in all probability were killing and maiming civilians caught in the war zone thousands of feet below.[2]