Meteoric Tactical Solutions

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"Ironically, those of us who are trying to do things legally are getting the most flack from the government. The guys working under the table have no problems." - Festus van Rooyen [1]

Meteoric Tactical Solutions, a South African private military company, had a $492,764 contract with the British Department for International Development to provide bodyguards and drivers for its most senior officials in Iraq in the summer of 2003.[2][3][4] They had a contract with the Pentagon to train the new Iraqi police force. [5], as well as a $1.3 million contract from the Swiss government to protect their missions in Iraq early in 2004.[6]

By summer of 2004, the DFID was admonished by members of the House of Commons for not vetting MTS throughly. Two owners of the company, Hermanus Carlse and Lourens Horn, were arrested in Zimbabwe in the spring for their part in the coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. Said Sir Menzies Campbell, "The disclosure raises serious questions as to what checks were carried out by the department before it hired them." [7][8][9]

Carlse and Horn were acquitted of the charges linking them to the coup plans in late August of 2004, almost six months after being arrested. [10] Upon arriving home in South Africa, they pleaded guilty to violating the Foriegn Military Assistance Act, and received reduced sentences for agreeing to testify at Mark Thatcher's trial. [11][12]

The attention resulted in the loss of many of the contracts van Rooyen had established in Iraq. South Africa has decided the company should fold due to regulations imposed by the 1998 Foreign Military Assistance Act. Van Rooyen has made it clear that he had nothing to do with EG affair and that the two were on leave when they decided to aid Simon Mann's operation. [13]

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