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I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

EXPOSING MY FAKE “BUSINESS PARTNERS”

Apart from Northbridge Security Services, who have very falsely claimed to be the “reborn Executive Outcomes”, there are some more frauds out there claiming to be “closely” associated with and/or linked to me/Executive Outcomes, despite the fact that I had never even heard of them – until now. Like Northbridge, they seem to no longer know where their lie started or how it will end.

I have in no way been associated/involved with Saracen International since 1997 or indeed even had contact with the company since then. Perhaps the two South African journalists who perpetuated the recent claim (De Wet Potgieter and Ivor Powel) - or regurgitated it - would like to tell me why they chose to lie for a living. Better still, maybe they would like to ensure that I get paid by Saracen. I will give them a recovery fee for that, something that ought not to be too difficult for them as they apparently “know” that I am part of Saracen. If they represent the best in South African journalism, that trade is in big trouble.

It appears as though some foreign journalists are now following the Potgieter/Powel example by exposing history. Perhaps the next big story they work on will be disastrous charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava.

A crowd that has recently fallen out of the woodwork is Strategic Stability International (SSI), a few of its associated companies and some of the people associated with it. This includes:

1. Strategic Stability International
2. Provident Stability International
3. Consular Operations International
4. Recruiting Strategies
5. Cela Consult (Not to be confused with Cela Consulting)
6. CV Jobs Co
7. Mr Jonathan Constable
8. Mr Steven Mohadi
9. Mr Andrew Cohen
10. Mr Jean Oberholzer
11. Mr Lionel Britz
12. Mr Theo Mahlangu
13. Mr Lawrence Heron

It appears that the above companies and people were claiming to have contracts in a Middle Eastern and a Central American country and that I was involved in some manner or form “behind the scenes”. Apart from this blatant lie, there were apparently no contracts in either the Middle East or Central America.

Taking this apparent deception a step further, every person who applied for a position on these contracts, had to pay a fee of SA Rands 250, 00 (approx US$ 35) to have their applications processed. By their own admission – in writing - SSI and its associates “recruited” 1 200 men – making a tidy sum out of their efforts.

When these non-existent contracts started going pear-shaped, the blame was subsequently placed on my shoulders with implications that I was sabotaging their efforts, something I found amusing as I had no knowledge of these clowns or of their non-existent contracts. It was also explained that I had “gone into hiding” as “they were after me”. Dream on you Plonkers!

I am told that there is currently an investigation into SSI and its merry associates – and their strange business dealings.

This story does have a happy ending: Apparently Mr Jonathan Constable was recently arrested for human trafficking. Unfortunately, those who were conned into paying their fees will in all probability never see their money again.

Furthermore, I am in no manner or form associated with the many companies that have adopted the name or pose as Executive Outcomes. These include:

1. The Australian Executive Outcomes (www.executiveoutcomes.com.au)
2. The US-based Executive Outcomes (http://www.execoutcomes.com/)
3. The FaceBook crowd (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Executive-Outcomes/106052689424998)
4. The New Zealand crowd http://www.linkedin.com/companies/executive-outcomes-ltd
5. Executive Outcomes – Professional Adult Business Consulting - maybe Thor at th@executive-outcomes.com could enlighten us?...and the numerous other name-stealers and wannabees.

To say I am sick of these people would be an understatement of gigantic proportions.

The reality is that none of the above posers would be able to walk half-a-mile in the shoes of the men who served in the real Executive Outcomes.

I still have more information coming in on other companies claiming to represent me or posing as Executive Outcomes. This I shall post in due course.

Added on 24 January 2011: Another company forming part of this conglomerate is “International Intelligence Risk Management” – also run by Jonathan Constable. Constable also goes by the alias of “Derek Davies” – maybe his undercover name?

Added on 27 January 2011: Here is a link to the site of someone who has apparently suffered at the hands of this con: http://spiderman0000000.blog.com/. I hope they see justice served.

39 comments:

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I do not have the time or inclination to follow any other course of action. Private.

It is much better to simply expose them and watch as they squirm.

Rgds,

Eeben

steph said...

Thank you Eeben and agreed it's better just to expose them before they do destroy more innocent people's dreams and lives. I believe there is a blog coming linked to their websites to expose them with all evidences and proves. Enjoy, S

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I really look forward to reading that blog, Steph. When you get its address, please send it to us.

What they are doing is both fraud and theft and it is time they started being exposed – especially by those who have suffered (financially or otherwise) at their hands.

Rgds,

Eeben

waynepx said...

Thank you for this Blog.It is a great to see them exposed.Maybe now others will think twice.We paid R350 to Jean not R250

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for the correction, waynepx. I am simply disgusted at the behaviour of these people. Earning R 350 (approximately US$ 50 per person) makes one really mad, especially if we tally up how much money they made out of their unsuspecting victims.

I understand that there is a blog on its way about these companies – if you have the address, please share it with us.

Good luck and rgds,

Eeben

userdude said...

Hello Eeben,

What of the reports of Lafras Luitingh and Erik Prince working together in Somalia? I have alternately seen claims of Lafras being a senior executive in Saracen, Lafras leading the training ops in Somalia, Lafras claiming he has nothing to do with them, Erik Prince and Lafras forming a company in Beruit/Dubai/etc...

There is almost no way to know what to believe and what not to believe. Yet, the news reports appear to be very authoritative. I'm sure somebody is profiting off of these machinations, but I suppose that story is probably not as interesting as the melodrama surrounding the supposed mercenary activities of those named.

Thanks!
Jared

ken borr said...

It's unfortunate that we have to deal with so many falsehoods in this world. For instance, I just read an AP article listing Eric Prince as working with Saracen to train Samolians to fight the pirates operating in that country. Do I believe that? The owner of this version of Saracen (since there are three companies operating under that name) claims to have been a co-founder of Executive Outcomes. I can feel your frustration. Since, this does take away from the fine work your company did. Also, I feel it puts people in danger. When you want to hire or work with the best but get stuck with a bunch of cowboys and wanna-bes.

regards,
ken

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I cannot speak on behalf of companies I have nothing to do with, Jared.

What I can say is that they at least have the backbone to try to do something to stop the piracy, something no one else seems to have the courage or will to do. But how they have structured themselves, how they intend to do it, who owns what, etc, are questions I cannot answer because I do not know.

What I do find surprising is that the world shouts for an end to the pirate actions and when someone wants to do something to stop it, the shouting starts again – possibly because it may infringe on the human rights of the bad guys.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I have met and heard of so many people who claim to have started EO, Ken. However, this story is something the media has helped propagate simply because they are too lazy to get off their chairs and away from their computers and do decent research. All it takes is a visit to the SA Registrar of Companies to see who and when the company was started. But, the truth is never as exciting as a lie to them.

Insofar as companies teaming to fight piracy, maybe they will do what the international community should have done a long time ago but lacked the backbone to do.

Rgds,

Eeben

Fabio Di Caro said...

How can anyone even think of you being envolved in this kind of bull,I dare say that obviously the people that have mentioned you negatively not only do not respect the person you are but do not respect all those who served and lost their lives,maybe we should organize a braai,invite them,fill up their gory belly and then and only then,sort them out as they deserve.I am allways with you.Rds - Fabio

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I am astounded at the gall of some people, Fabio. As for myself, I really couldn’t care less what people think of me but to use the reputation of the men who made EO – and during the course of which some died - is beyond sick.

The good thing is that I have been getting a lot of emails from people, companies and governments asking my association with some who have mentioned me as being involved “behind the scenes”. Sadly, I have to inform them that they have been conned as well.

Another positive is the mail I am getting from people thanking me for exposing these people, some of whom were victims of this con.

I shall later today being updating the fraud-list as a new company name has been brought to my attention. To invite them to a braai (barbeque) would not be on the cards – perhaps an invite elsewhere might be better.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for joining my soapbox, Jürgen.

Doing diplomacy and IR must be a change for you although one could argue that the FFR apply IR albeit not in the diplomatic sense. Figuring out how the politicians think is going to be a tough one.

Many people have never heard of my old company – or me - so you are certainly not alone.

Good luck with your thesis. Let me know when you are ready to question me – if I can help, I will.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

My apologies Jürgen – I just saw that your comment was marked “Private”.

Forgive my lapse in concentration.

Rgds,

Eeben

Jürgen said...

Thanks a lot Eeben,

had to smile when reading your comparison, but it is certainly a good one. Ref. the rest - no worries - I have no intentions in bugging you for some info which I can find in your books (when and where will the second one come into the shop??)but anyway - thanks a lot for the offer.

All the best
Jürgen

Jürgen said...

kein Problem Eeben

Regards
Jürgen

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Jürgen. I have reprimanded myself.

The second book is coming along well. Time is however my enemy...if all goes well, it should be out by December – and before anyone reminds me, I know I said that last year.

Rgds,

Eeben

Herbert said...

Mr. Barlow,
I have long observed people claim association with you--many of whom I have suspected hardly know you, if at all. Perhaps some would say that is the price of success. I say it is no license to lie and misrepresent.
At the risk of over analyzing, I identify with your reaction. Particularly, the lash of disloyalty stings like no other. Mother money: It fogs the vision, blackens judgment, and poisons the soul. And it often takes so little of the stuff.
Good on you for shining the light of day on them.

Rgds,
Herbert

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Money certainly brings out the worst in some people, Herbert. Yet, despite the importance of money to maintaining a standard of living, it is as you say, no licence to lie and misrepresent – and commit not only fraud but offer a paying client often bad advice. In addition to that, these clowns ruined many good people’s lives with their lies, deceit and even theft of their money.

I have had a few mails asking me about some people and companies claiming to be “linked” to me – and I am grateful that governments are now checking up on these types.

Rgds,

Eeben

userdude said...

Hi Eeben,

I wasn't implying you should have the answer, nor answer for them either way, but to comment (rhetorically) about how some things never change.

Either way, I agree that if they are legally contracted and conduct themselves appropriately, it should not matter where they do that, or for who. It doesn't make for good copy, of course.

Thanks!
Jared

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Apologies for the misunderstanding, Jared.

However, I see that the TFG have made a song and dance about cancelling the Saracen contract. I suspect that they came under intense pressure to do so from some quarters – and of course, I am sure the media will join the rejoicing of the pirates and gangs that were supposed to be stopped. Peace never makes for good news, does it?

Rgds,

Eeben

Ben said...

Hi Eeben,

Just had a look at the recent attempts you mentioned on your blog,and some of the names you have mentioned crossed some of our SA guys in Afghanistan! Thx for sharing these info with us ...small world mate!
Still doing well, still in Afghanistan but not with DI anymore.
Warm regards,
Ben ( Book no. 170 EO)

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Always good to hear from an ex-EO man, Ben. Thanks for staying in touch but equally important, thanks again to you and the men who made EO what it was. I will expose these scumbags that try to impersonate the company – I have had a lot of mails from ex-EO guys querying companies and personalities but also from people, corporations and a few governments asking if company XYZ is/was part of EO or if I am associated with it.

I am pleased to hear that you are still well. Give my best to those I know and let it be known that I wish you all well.

Rgds,

Eeben

John said...

Good Evening Eeben,

It is truly unfortunate that these folks chose to glom onto you and EO's hard work and deed's. I believe the only way to erase this virus is to expose it to the sunlight....

It is interesting that the media still is going after you and EO - it can only mean in my mind that you did and are doing the right thing if those scum have to lie about you and your men still to get some sort of sick pleasures.

Unfortunately all I can do is spread the word (but I am not in the PMC circles) - it does look like there are plenty of commenters here that can do hard work behind the scenes to discredit, and make poor men of those who would use your name for their gain.

Regards,

John

P.S. Good to hear we may have your Magnum Opus II this year. Can't wait.

Raven said...

Hi Eeben,
How about a public wall-of-shame much like SEALS etc where names and other contact details are posted till they publicly apologize... It'll keep people honest & be a database where guys can check before sending money to another clown…
I understand it’s admin, but what you worked hard to build up is not for others to abuse…
Regards
SvN

mark said...

i could not agree more ...

But among us there must be some resource that can set things in motion.

Norbert said...

Hi Eben, hope your well, drop me a line as to the emails i sent you previously when you come around to it please.

Coming back to the subject at hand, I will for one admit that i too was drawn into this web of deceipt and lies on the basis that this Jean Oberholzer actually came from some very good references which I would like to share with you when we meet again.

The sad thing is that many families were destitute and Con Ops was there light at the end of the tunnel ... as it turned out that light was an oncoming steam train instead.

Squirming is not good enough for these bastards .....

Regards
Norbert

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Sadly these conmen seem to constantly get away with these things without ever being challenged John. I think the time to put an end to it all has come, albeit possibly a bit late from my side.

As for some in the media: I was recently sent an article that purports to have been based on an “exclusive interview” with me – which never happened. I shall soon be posting that on the blog.

My Magnus Opus II – ha! I continue to slog away at it….

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for a good idea, Stephan but being somewhat thick when it comes to internet stuff, I am not sure how to add it to the blog. I will put some thought into this.

At the moment, I will continue to post these things and hope that the word will spread. The last posting resulted in me being contacted by a few governments and private companies asking about some people and companies. I shall soon be writing about them.

Also, the posting about ISS/ConOps has spread far and wide…

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It is already happening, Mark.

Visitors to the blog have been great and this information is definitely being passed around. In fact, I was sent something this morning which was a direct result of the posting.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I thought I responded to your emails, Norbert but will check again. If I am at fault, please accept my (public) apology!

I would love to hear who the references for these clowns were. As you rightly state, many saw them as the light at the end of the tunnel – something they exploited to the hilt. I am sorry to hear that you too had become a victim of their fraud. But, the wheel turns even if somewhat slowly at times.

Rgds,

Eeben

stretch said...

Hi Eeben
I’m doing consulting work and as many of my friends are sitting home with out work you always try and help them. I also received a email concerning SSI and that they are looking for people. So obviously I passed it on to my friends only finding out now its a scam so I guess I’m also one of the culprits passing the info. But people as soon as Recruiter / Company wants’ money then the Red lights must go on and you must start to ask questions. I know the problem is if you have been sitting home so long you get desperate. So to all the guys I gave the info to sorry this went pear shape.
I do apologize for passing on the info before checking it out myself
Thanks for the Blog Eeben

willie

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I don’t think anyone blames men such as you who were simply trying to help those who are desperate, Willie. Also, many good men were taken for a ride by these clowns.

Yes, you are correct. As soon as a company asks you money before they are even willing to process your application be very, very careful. Check them out before you give them a cent.

I have also been approached by a few governments asking me about some companies claiming to be “associated to EO/me” and likewise I advise them that they are being roped in to be conned.

It takes a big man to apologise and I think all those who may have responded to your mail will know that you were acting in good faith.

Rgds,

Eeben

Alex said...

Hello Eeben,

Without needing to restate everything you and others have said here, it's disgusting that people would try to pose as you, your company or anyone else in order to profit off the work they did. Hope they get what's coming to them. Good at least that you've had people contacting you to check rather than taking anyone who blurts 'EO!' at face value.

Also a minor note is that, as far as I'm aware, the Facebook page you referenced is not trying to make money or discredit anyone. I have to admit that I'm one of the 285 people or whatever it is now who have 'liked' EO on there, but I hope you will belive my actions were born from admiration rather than any malicious intent! As far as I can tell it's just a link to the wikipedia article. Having said all that, I don't blame you being suspicious; ever since you mentioned that you don't have a facebook page I'm very cautious about what I join, 'like' or whatever.

As for these other clowns, I can only imagine your indignation (and that of other ex-EO men). Best of luck exposing further for what they really are.

By the way I'm down to lead a small discussion group in my politics seminar tomorrow on a PMC case study and how it relates to the rest of the course, so needless to say I'll be doing my best to educate my group on EO's history! If anyone has any misguided ideas about the company I'll set them straight ;)

All the best

Alex

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

The world is full of very strange people Alex – and it is their human right to make fools of themselves. However, I won’t allow them to use the reputation the men of EO built-up to regale and impress others with.

Good luck with your discussion group.

Rgds,

Eeben

michael b said...

Hi. Just reading the comments. Fascinating stuff. I am truly surprised that so many groups are circulating openly after obviously being tagged as fraudulent. I am of the belief that your name is your ultimate reference. So if your name is tarnished so is your character and company. How do they (the companies named above) remain in business? How the hell do they manage to "secure" contracts? More importantly. If they are so good and professional then why ask for " admin fees"? When was the last time you had to pay a fee to be employed by a company? If the company cannot "absorb" the cost of your application, then how the hell are they going to pay you? They are thus a nickel and dime outfit. When i signed up at eo back in 1993 in centurion i was not asked for anything. I was transported to the destination, clothed, fed, armed, given access to medical when needed, flown home on leave and provided with a pay slip monthly. I still have november 93 pay slip aswell as a letter i requested when i resigned as confirmation of my employ by eo. I probably am one of a few who requested that.. Eo was a serious job to me and i loved every day working in angola. Whatever became of lafras, brian westwood and rieme de jager? Brian recruited me. Eeben, are you still actively involved in consulting? I would like to embark on one last contract with a reputable group. Naturally i in no way make any claims of being "an operator", i am nothing more than support staff at best. When in eo i worked for the airwing as a refueller, runway maintenance. Did some weapon store duty and i stood beat plenty at the entrance to our part of the cabo ledo base.( where rieme's dog was shot). In conclusion, i fully agree that a wall of shame with names be published on an easy domain name so that everyone can check up the validity of companies, ethics and contracts with all players names, email addresses, physical addresses etc made public. This would protect many unsuspecting fools from ending up as DEAD.

Regards. Mike (book no' 32).

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

They secure contracts because of who they know and how well they lie, Mike. Added to this is the fact that greed dominates. If a company with a reputation asks for upfront payment, they are simply exploiting their own greed. If they ask for money and they have no reputation, they are con-artists but driven by greed.

The guys you mentioned are still around working. You may have heard that Lafras and co are experiencing some problems in the media but I am sure they will forge ahead regardless.

I still do some consulting for some governments but being a “third world national” – that’s what the West likes to call us in our own continent! – it is quite difficult as we have to vie against foreign state sponsored companies who operate with large government budgets, a luxury we do not have.

Regardless of position in EO, everyone played an important part in the company and the company was not successful because of one individual but because of many individuals who together made a team.

Rgds,

Eeben

SAM said...

Hello Eeban,

Can you tell me your affilliation with a Ken Barlow who claims to have worked for EO and brags about killing many people? He has also attached himself to a missing person case offering to water board the suspect.

Thanks,

Sam

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Hi Sam,

I have gone through our records and name lists and there is no Ken Barlow on it. Having the same surname as he, I am sure I would have remembered him – as would many men who worked in EO. No one seems to have heard of him. Someone vaguely remembers a Ken Barlow in a BBC production by name of Coronation Street...

There are many who claim to have worked in the company. Ask him to give you his book number (everyone had a unique book number) and I am sure he won’t know what you are talking about.

Those who worked in EO do not talk about how many rebels or terrorists they killed. That in itself is a bit of a red flag as far as he is concerned. As for water boarding someone, I would recommend you break all links to this lunatic. If he cannot get a suspect to talk without resorting to torture, he will never get him to talk – period.

Thanks for bringing him to my attention.

Rgds,

Eeben