Mercenary and former British Army officer that is currently in jail for his involvement in Equitorial Guinea's failed Coup d'etat.
Simon Mann was born in Aldershot,
England as heir to the Watney Mann Brewing Empire now known as
Mann studied at Eton College after which he pursued a career in the military. Mann trained at the Sandhurst Military Academy then joined the Scotts Guard, an army regiment associated with royalty and the upper class of British Society.
After serving with the Scotts Guard, Mann joined the SAS, the British army's special-forces unit. While in service he rose through the ranks to become a commander.
Mann left the military in 1981 after serving in Cypruss, Germany, Central America, and Northern Ireland. He returned for a short time to serve during the Gulf War under Gen. Peter de la Billiere.
During the 1980's Mann ran a company that sold security equipment and provided body guards. After Mann returned from serving during the Gufl War he decided to pursue a career as a mercenary.
In 1993, Mann and his associate Tony Buckingham were hired as mercernaries by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to fight UNITA, a rebel group that had captured the port of Soyo and closed the oil installations. Mann and Buckingham set up an off-shoot of Executive Outcomes, a security consultancy, in Angola to secure the the region on behalf of the government.
Mann and Buckingham's business gained international repution for providing advice and armed guards particulary to businesses established in conflict zones.
In 1996 Mann pursued another venture with Tom Spincer, a former Scotts Guard. They set up Sandline International in South Africa but worked mainly in Sierra Leone and Angola. Sandline International is known to have been involved in the Sierra Leone's civil war providing logistical support, such as arms, and helping the rebel group led by Foday Sankok. However the details of Sandline Internationals involvoment continue to be uncertain.
Taking time from his real life role as a mercernary, Mann played a British officer in the film Bloody Sunday Killings in Northern Ireland in 2002.
On April 16, 2004 Sandline International closed.
Infamous for his involvement in the failed coup d'etat in Equitorial Guinea to remove President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. On Febuary 23, 2007 Mann was arrested, along with 69 others in Zimbabwe when the plan he was in was seized by security forces. The plan was carrying £180,000 and was scheduled to pick up £100,000 worth of weapons and equipment. The men were arrested and charged with violating the countrys immigration, firearms and security laws and later accused of engaging in an attempt to stage a coup-d'etat in Equitorial Guinea.
Mann spent three years in a prison facility in Zimbabwe after which time he was extradiated to Equitorial Guiniea on January 30, 2008 to face charges
Mann has confessed to his involvement in the coup d'etat but says that he is not the main man behind the deal. He has named a few high profile figures and is willing to provide more information in return for clemency from the government of Equitorial Guinea.
On June 17, 2008 Mann's trial in Equitorial Guinea began. On June 21, 2008 he was senteced to 32 years in Jail for his role in the coup d'etat.
Simon Mann is currently serving 32 years at Black Beach prison in Equitorial Guinea- a prison notorious for its inhumane and brutal treatment of prisoners. Since the old prison building was demolished and rebuilt to include a medical treatment center it has said to have improved living conditions. However Equitorial Guinea is known for human rights abuses and access to the prison is restricted so the living conditions of prisoners is uncertain.