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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, February 5, 2011

MORE FRAUDS NAMED AND SHAMED...

Subsequent to my previous posting on the blog exposing people and companies posing as EO or claiming to represent me, I have received numerous mails from companies and governments questioning the service records of some of these imposters or asking me to comment on certain media reports.

Of all of these, two characters automatically qualify to receive special mention:

1. A journalist by name of Torgeir P Hook Fjord
2. A liar by name of Abdul Rehmaan Vorgers.

Thanks to a Norwegian visitor to the blog, I was sent a copy of an article that appeared in the Norwegian daily “Dagbladet” of 27 May 2010.

Written by the above-mentioned Torgeir P Hook Fjord, the article is allegedly based on an “exclusive interview” he had with me. This person then sprinkles his article with lies, conjecture, disinformation and some facts. Perhaps he is unaware of the reality that Google is not an all authoritative source of information.

I wrote to this Torgeir P Hook Fjord asking him exactly where and when he had this interview with me as I believed, unlike him, that I had to afford him an opportunity to respond to my questions before I exposed his lies. In fact, I sent him three emails.

I put some very simple questions to him that included:

1. Where and when did he interview me?
2. Where and when did EO commit “extensive human rights violations”?
3. Where, when and by whom was EO granted mineral concessions as payment for its work done?
4. When did Pres Thabo Mbeki “ban” EO?
5. Which Selous Scouts served in EO?
6. When was 32 Bn incorporated into the SADF’s Special Forces?

There has, as yet, been no response from him and my emails have all gone unanswered. This is hardly surprising as I never gave a recent “exclusive interview” to him or any other journalist.

I would have hoped that had a journalist been falsely accused of fabricating information, he would have the courage to immediately respond to clear his good name.

If Torgeir P Hook Fjord ever responds to my mails with very valid explanations for his deceit, I shall apologise to him and even post his response on this blog.

I believe that Torgeir P Hook Fjord has proven without a shadow of doubt that he happy to accept payment for lies – indeed a poor reflection of his journalistic integrity.

Another liar that recently bobbed to the surface is Abdul Rehmaan Vorgers.

Unfortunately for him, the company he applied to for a job sent his “CV” to me to confirm his role in EO. Looking at his very impressive yet completely fake military record, he even managed to join EO after the company closed its doors. Even more impressive is that he was deployed into some countries EO never worked in.

His record in EO reads like pure fantasy – here is an extract of his “service record” with EO:

The company provides a number of specialized security and training to the local and international markets. Some of those training services are firearms, personal security, executive protection, counter terrorism and combat training.
I have regularly been sub-contracting in Algeria (Convoy Protection), Angola (Convoy Protection), Sierra Leone (Convoy Protection), Nigeria, Somalia and Uganda.
I transferred from the company group to central Algeria and did all cover operation and high risk convoy protection units.
As for now, I still operate and do contracts.


The fake “SADF certificates” he added to his CV are riddled with spelling mistakes and are indeed laughable. Obviously, Mr Vorgers does not know that the computer he used has a spell-check on it.

Another company listed on his impressive action-packed CV is a CD/DVD replication and packaging company based in France. They seem to have deployed Vorgers on some very high risk missions. No doubt using his “extensive experience” he gained doing “convoy protection” at or for EO, he states that:

I was planning all high risk convoying in Afganistan and Irak and trained US DOD Contracts for Iraq. I did many training for (I.E.D.) Identification as well as combat training but the last year in Iraq I was doing high risk convoying.

Unfortunately, the world seems to be riddled with people such as the “esteemed gentlemen” I have listed.

As more information surfaces on people of this ilk, I shall be sure to write about them.

25 comments:

matt said...

Eeben,

Good job for exposing these less than honorable folks. But with the power of the internet and blogging, you are able to publish the truth and instantly shame these conmen. I hope people get fired, lose contracts and have their reputations destroyed due to their despicable actions.
Also, if you have a feature on your Blogger account to where you can create a 'Page', you could actually set up a 'Wall of Shame' that is easily accessed by visitors. On my blog, the pages are located at the top right hand side and have labels like 'About Me', 'Taxes For Contractors', etc.
The other cool thing is that I am sharing all of these posts you are writing on my Feral Jundi Facebook account. I have a ton of readers that check this stuff out on FB, and they like to share it on their pages as well. Lots of useful methods for getting the word out. Twitter reaches many as well, and it is fast.

Tore said...

The journalist’s correct name is Torgeir P. Krokfjord (e-mail address: tpk@dagbladet.no). He has labeled himself as an Africa expert ….

Regards

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for the advice on how to do that, Matt. I shall see what I can accomplish.

I have reached the point where I shall leave no stone unturned to expose these people for what they are. I am tired of journalists sending me questions and twisting the answers to serve their purposes. I am equally tired of conmen out there trying to exploit those who are looking to find jobs – or stealing from unsuspecting folks, to say nothing of those gaining contracts on false credentials.

I am also pleased to see that you have taken up this fight on your blog.

It is up to us to help those who are being unsuspectingly caught by people who thrive on deceit.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

They are very real, Private.

I want people to be aware of these types.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for that Tore.

He has finally responded to me by mail and I am still waiting to discover who, apart from the internet, his sources were. I have also advised him that it is his duty to report EO’s excessive human rights abuses to the UN and to demand an in-depth investigation – as well as into all of the so-called mineral concessions EO received. There are also some other questions that he has not been able to answer satisfactorily.

As an “Africa expert”, I would have expected better from him. A little integrity and research thrown in would also be helpful

Rgds,

Eeben

Denise1970 said...

Dear Mr Barlow,
I would very much like the opportunity of speaking with you regarding my father whom you knew in the 1990's. His name was Anthony Wallace but am sure you would have known him as Tony Wallace. I must aplogise for posting this request in such a way but have no other contact details for you.
Kind Regards
Denise Wallace

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I do remember your dad Denise. If I recall correctly, it was some time during 1996 that I met him in the UK. Please send me your email address via the blog (I shan’t post it) and then I can respond to your questions.

Rgds,

Eeben

Jürgen said...

Eeben,

isn't there a point when you say "enaugh is enaugh"? Not sure whether I should mention this, but a rather decent mean to stop all this might be to change into offensif mode - get a powerful lobby behind you - re-build your portfolio and go back - in the most official way - to where you stopped in '97. I would not put it into any context but sometimes I am convinced that to attack might be the very best defense.
Please accept my apologies, should my comment fall into the "idiotic niche"....

Horridoh
Jürgen

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

There is certainly nothing idiotic about your suggestion, Jürgen, as attack is often the best form of defence.

Unfortunately, at the time EO was operating we didn’t have blogs – and the media was never interested in what we had to say. Also, they could, with impunity, write and say what they wanted and knew that there would be no come-backs on them. In that sense, they had the initiative and we were continually on the defensive. What it did prove to me was that (a) there were those in the media in the employ of intelligence services as agents and (b) there were those journalists who would do whatever it took to keep the wars and destabilisation of Africa going. Talk of mercenary!

There were also many governments who knew full well that EO/myself were under attack as part of an orchestrated plan. What the media wrote or claimed at that time, did not bother them in the least. However, since my book things have changed drastically for some “EO and Africa experts” as they have been shown up for what they truly were or are – liars who thrive on disinformation, innuendo, speculation and regurgitation. Some are not even averse to making up “facts” to suit their stories.

Since exposing some of these characters, I have had numerous governments and companies contacting me to determine the validity behind some claims being made.

Some who I have written about have already made contact with me alleging that they needed work or that I had misunderstood what they were/are trying to do.

I am fortunate that there are MANY people who visit this blog and read it on a daily basis so my counter-attack/repudiation of their lies is very quickly identified, exposed and taken note of.

So sometimes, a counter-attack can be better than an actual attack, especially if I do it at a place and time of my choosing.

Rgds,

Eeben

Tore said...

Mr. Barlow,
As you probably know the press in Norway has a complaint board - Pressens faglige utvalg (http://presse.no/Pressens_Faglige_Utvalg_PFU/) . If his answers continue to be unsatisfactory you can always take his “interview” with you to the board.
Rgds,
tore

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks for that info, Tore.

I have already passed on Torgeir P. Krokfjord’s article to my lawyers as well as his poor attempts at explaining his article. I am sure they will shortly get in touch with the Norwegian Complaints Board you so kindly provided me with.

Ironically, his excuses included an offer to add to his article the following: "In an e-mail, Barlow underlines that these allegations have never lead to any lawsuit or actions against him or the company." Sadly, he does not seem to want to make it known that he did a lot of his “research” off the internet or simply regurgitated what others had written, none of which he researched for veracity. Talk of an unprofessional person!

It proves the old saying: Never talk to a journalist who claims to be an expert at anything.

Rgds,

Eeben

michael b said...

Good day. My name is mike. I was fortunate enough to work for EO back in 1993. It was a great adventure and made a distinct mark on my personality. I learned quickly where my rung in the pecking order was. (right there at the bottom) but i was part of a dynamic group. My book number was 32 and i worked as part of the ground crew, refuelling company aircraft. There will always be frauds out there living a lie within their minds. Fortunately they will eventually wind up dead when they are employed erroneously for a contract and get dead real fast when on the job. Hopefully they dont cost others their lives with their lies. I was 23 when i worked in cabo ledo and rio longa. I am 41 now and miss the comaraderie of life "out there". Thanks for a good quality blog. Mike.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

What a nice surprise to have you drop by, Mike.

We were very fortunate to have men like you work with us. Being at the bottom of the heap is often the best place to be as you can keep your head down – to say nothing of the slipperiness on the rungs of the ladder and the numerous attacks from all fronts.

I have to admit that I miss working with men such as you. Everyone had a role to play and most played that role very well and efficiently. I was never able to personally thank everyone who contributed to EO’s success, so please accept my sincerest thanks to you even though it is years late.

As for the conmen and liars out there, you are so correct. They will not only get themselves killed (perhaps not a bad thing) but get others killed or injured. And then of course, the way in which they destroy the lives and hopes of others is sickening.

Thanks again for visiting the blog.

Rgds,

Eeben

mike da silva said...

thanks. it was an honour to be associated with the company. in the years since i have met "many ex eo employees" who i dont recognise from a bar of soap. (mostly chumps in bars) mouthing off about places they obviously have never been. after a few strategic questions they always back down and suddenly have somewhere they have to go. at first it used to boil my blood then later i would simply turn and say "please dont embaress yourself any further". i would ask them the simplest question to find out if they were in eo in 93/94. "what was " riemes" dog`s name? and what was "riemes" rank? invariably the answer was who???? chumps everywhere. i was in no way an operator! i was simply ground crew and proud of my job.i did on occasion provide convoy protection detail between cabo ledo and longa (sitting on the back of the ural, kraz or chevy cheyenne bakkie) and i did work in the weapon store cleaning and doing basic maintenance of the weapons of those who were going home on leave. i have the photographs on my c.v web page that can attest to that. i make no claims i cannot substantiate with proof. bar room weekend warriors who all claim to be "operators" make me sick. they give a bad name to the real operators who worked in angola and who lost their lives. its amazing how these pub operators seem to get the units and bases mixed up and are such "skilled operators" that they dont know who the rsm was, which province the base was in where they got their training or how not to dribble their beer when they drink. i was a small part in the big eo picture and i dislike those that bullshit their way through life by lying.. they are lying ultimately to themselves! have they no shame? my silly pictures are at least a proof of what and where i was and have been and having some pseudo rambo trash that annoys me no end! i would give anything to be able to go on another contract and live the life again. www.michaelbdasilva.20m.com

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I really enjoyed the tour through your web, Mike. Thanks for sharing it with us. Looking at the photos certainly brought back many memories.

You are correct about these pub operators – they cannot talk the talk, let alone walk the walk. When the call went out, they were remarkably quiet in their responses.

Travelling jointly with those pseudo operators are the amount of “journalists” that after one email or talk to anyone in EO was deemed as “specialist”. Then came the “scholars” who did thesis on EO without ever leaving their keyboards. It does make one sick.

Take care and good luck!

Rgds,

Eeben

Philip said...

Hi Eeben,
Well done! Name and shame the retards that lie their way into the PSC market. Not only is it dishonest and indicative of a self delusionary state, but it is dangerous to others. I worked in Angola, Iraq and Afghanistan and came across numerous of these idiots. In Iraq I sacked 2 who had obviously lied on their CV's. However, the responsibility should remain with the company to ensure that CV's are properly vetted. Pressures of stand-up times for contracts should not be an excuse for allowing these people in. As an ex Koevoet member I was often asked to ratify the CV's of guys claiming to be ex members. Obviously, I couldn't know the names of everyone who ever served in the unit. However, the 'old boy' network is firmly in place and very reliable and well used.
I am the unwitting victim of having a liar and scammer get into the system. I am writing this from Pul-e-Charki prison in Afghanistan where I am incarcerated. This is a result of an incompetent and untrained security "professional" being allowed to work in an environment in which he was way over his head. I won't go into detail here, but you can read more about my position and events at:
https://civiliancontractors.wordpress.com/tag/south-african-contractor/

Keep doing what you are doing and at the standard you are doing it, it's great. PSC work in the international market is an honourable but tough and demanding (and dangerous) occupation. Keeping out the wannabes and Rambo's is essential to raise not only the public perception but also the standards of the industry.
Regards,
Phil

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I recall reading your story with amazement and shock, Phil. I am truly sorry for the position you find yourself in and cannot but wonder what your employer is doing to rectify it. I also know that a friend of mine (Matt) ran a call to action off his blog (www.feraljundi.com) to try to help you. Back home, many people are hoping that your situation can soon be rectified and your nightmare ended.

It seems as though no one really wants to do too much to expose these frauds that cause so much heartache and damage. I couldn’t agree more with you re the vetting procedures. That said, several of them also slipped into EO but I feel that stand-up times are often unrealistic and indicative of poor overall planning. The snowball effect of this is disastrous.

Working in the PSC/PMC arena is not something we should allow frauds access to due to its responsibilities and repercussions when idiots act true to character. It is honourable, demanding and more than often dangerous work. At that time, you need someone beside you who you can trust – not doubt.

I think had anyone else been in your shoes, they would have reacted the same way you did. It is a pity that justice is so selective.

All I can say is hold your head up and stand tall. You are in our thoughts.

Rgds,

Eeben

Sur og gretten. said...

Hi

I read the article in dagbladet and took it for being real.
Good to see fellow countryman has informed you of your rights.

I am not always critical of the press as alot of others here may be,but in cas such as this the journo is surely at fault.

Keep the blogging and also taking time to reading and replying to comments.

liftwaffe

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I think there are many good journalists who find themselves tainted by those that prefer to spin an agenda, Sur og gretten. In fact, the good ones are in the majority but as with PMCs, it takes a few rotten apples to spoil the rest of the barrel.

I get many visits to the blog from your country on a daily basis and also correspond with many of your compatriots and as a whole, they have been very disappointed at the said journalist’s “story”. It was, as you say, thanks to a countryman of yours that I was notified of Torgeir P. Krokfjord’s drivel.

Rgds,

Eeben

Emma Holager said...

Dear Mr Barlow,

I read Mr. Krokfjords article at a time when I was in the process of writing my thesis on the impact of the private security industry in peacebuilding efforts. Naturally, I found it intriguing and thinking that you don't do many interviews, I thought it was quite sensational and impressive that he'd manage to get this interview. I'm therefore very glad that I now read this blogpost! Mr. Krokfjord has also written an article about the private security industry in Uganda and the relationship with US companies. Thought you'd might be interested. Here is the link: http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/06/08/nyheter/tjostolv_moland/joshua_french/utenriks/leiesoldater/10164713/

Regards,
Emma

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you very much for the link, Emma.

It is very obvious that Mr Krokfjord likes to be somewhat economical with the truth – a most dishonourable way of making a living. It remains a great pity that people such as he who are entrusted to report truth and inform people choose to do the opposite. What a very sad way of making a living. And then they actually have the gall to try to misinform on those that are trying to make an honest living.

That said, I have no problem if they expose and report on people and companies who, through lies and deceit, exploit the turmoil we witness in the world.

I have long suspected that some of these “reporters” do not want any peace and stability anywhere in Africa and would rather see war and conflict across the continent. I think Mr Krokfjord is one of them. As someone who lives in Africa, I shall expose their lies wherever and whenever I can.

Rgds,

Eeben

Book 50 said...

Eben, Book No. 50 now living in Oslo. The world is a small place.
Would be nice to meet this person.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Always nice to have an ex-EO man visit the site, Book 50/DER.

It is equally nice meeting these “experts” and allowing them to regale one with pure fantasy. No wonder the world misses the warning signs before things happen as some governments actually listen to these clowns. It is even nicer when one challenges them with facts and watch as they confuse themselves with more fantasy.

Bear in mind this man’s correct name is Torgeir P. Krokfjord

I suspect Oslo is a lot colder than CL?

Rgds,

Eeben

Stuart said...

Hi Eben

I have been following your blog for quite some time and would like to echo the sentiments of MICHAEL B

I too can say that i was proud to serve amongst the best of the best - flying into Cabo Ledo and living on the banks of the Rio Longa.

Those were special times and not a day goes by where i don't sit back a reflect on the special bonds that were forged.

So much so that when a close friend of mine WRS along with NMA ended up being wounded in an unfortunate incident - and shortly thereafter WRS succuming to his injuries and passing away had a deep and profound effect on me.

This profound effect caused me to stop and assess where / what and how - and had a direct influence on me studying further.

As a result i ended up qualifying as a paramedic and havent looked back since.

There was never anything sinister about EO - BUT - the fact that YOU had a winning recipe that would work in any country on the African continent was always going to be regarded by others as a threat.

I would gladly serve in any of your campaigns without a second thought.

Stuart S

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for visiting as well as for your comment Stuart. It was guys such as you, Michael b and everyone else who made the company what it was. I know that many who served in EO still look back with a certain longing, despite all we had to put up with from the media – who I am convinced did not wish the conflict to end. Had it ended, they would have had nothing to write about. Their mercenary approach to lying had no consideration for the civilians who were being killed or brutalised – a killing and wanton violence you men put an end to.

WRS was a student of mine and I was deeply shocked at what happened. It made many of us realise the dangers that existed on a daily level. Despite that loss, I am pleased that you used Wayne’s death as a motivation to study further. Well done to you. As corny as it may sound, I am proud of everyone who served in EO and especially proud of those who have gone on to greater and better things.

As for the next similar campaign... who knows what may happen?

Rgds,

Eeben