Alex Constantine - October 20, 2007
When employed by Sandline International, Spicer was involved in military operations in the Sierra Leone Civil War, which included importing weapons in apparent violation of the United Nations arms embargo. He had been contacted by Rakesh SAXENA, an Indian financier hoping that a new government would grant him diamond and mineral concessions. The controversy over this incident, and whether the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) knew of Sandline's actions; inquiries into it concluded that the FCO had known of the actions, and that Spicer believed he was not breaking the embargo. There was speculation that the British and the US governments may have lent tacit approval to Sandline's activities. Spicer alway denied that he or Sandline did anything illegal:
“ Neither Sandline nor Tim Spicer did anything illegal and were, if anything, victims of a wider UK political controversy. Sandline was contracted to supply weapons and professional services to the legitimate elected government of Sierra Leone. This government had been deposed by a military junta in alliance with the Revolutionary United Front, a barbaric rebel movement. The British government knew of the action, which did not contravene international law or the UN Security Council’s arms embargo. The facts are borne out by a Government investigation, two inquiries and a UN Legal opinion ” — Spicer's FAQ page
Spicer has claimed that he always has called for greater involvement of the British government in the PMC issue. In fact, Col. Spicer said that six weeks before the arms-to-Africa affair blew up, Sandline had submitted a paper to the Foreign Office calling for greater regulation, but had not yet received a response. At the time, with no government response, Sandline was considering setting up its own oversight committee, including a senior retired general, a lawyer and a representative of the media.
In late 1999, Spicer left Sandline which kept operating until 2004. The next year, he launched Crisis and Risk Management. In 2001, he changed the company's name to Strategic Consulting International and also set up a partner firm specializing in anti-piracy consulting, called Trident Maritime. In 2002, Spicer established Aegis Defence Services, which around the beginning of the Iraq war was consulting for the DISNEY Cruise Line.
Aegis Defence Services
Spicer is Chief Executive of Aegis Defence Services, a PMC based in London. The Chairman is Field-Marshal Lord Inge, former Chief of the Defence Staff and the Board of Directors include: General Sir Roger Wheeler, former Chief of the General Staff, and Sir John Birch, former British deputy ambassador to the United Nations.
In October 2004, Aegis won a $293 million three-year contract in Iraq outsourcing, among other things, intelligence for the U.S. Army. ...