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Simon Mann has done it all. A former SAS officer, his mercenary company Sandline International developed a reputation for efficiency, quelling uprisings across West Africa. In 1997, Sandline was called in to put down an uprising in Papa New Guinea, sparking a military revolt in the so-called Sandline Affair. After organising a failed coup in Equatorial Guinea involving Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mann was imprisoned in Zimbabwe for 4 years. He was extradited to Equatorial Guinea in the ‘oil for Mann’ deal, where Robert Mugabe allegedly traded Mann for cheap Equatorial Guinean oil. Mann served 2 years in Africa’s most notorious prison, Black Beach, before being released in 2009 after UK government petitions. Mann maintains that the coup was backed by a number of government ministers.
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