Mark Thatcher

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Person.png Sir Mark Thatcher   History CommonsRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Sir Mark Thatcher.jpg
Hammersmith, London, England
Alma materHarrow School
Parents • Dennis Thatcher
• Margaret Thatcher
Children • Michael Thatcher
• Amanda Thatcher
Spouse • Diane Burgdorf
• Sarah Jane Russell
Perpetrator ofEquatorial Guinea/2004 coup d'état attempt

Sir Mark Thatcher, son of Margaret Thatcher gained a lot of wealth through the Al-Yamamah arms deal, some of which he used to fund the failed 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup attempt. He was convicted of the latter effort in a South African court in 2005.[1]

Al-Yamamah arms deal

Sir Mark Thatcher has denied claims that in 1985 he received millions of pounds in commission in relation to the Al-Yamamah arms deal, the UK's biggest ever arms deal in which BAE sold around £50 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia. He has not denied that a house in Belgravia, London was purchased for him for £1 million in 1987 by an offshore company controlled by Wafic Saïd, a middleman in the deal.[2]

2004 Equatorial Guinea coup attempt

Mark Thatcher has admitted putting money into Crause Steyl's company, Triple A Aviation, but he has said it was to cover the cost of an air ambulance project. Steyl dismissed this explanation. "He knew what was going on," he said. "I only knew him in the context of the Equatorial Guinea business. I didn't know him before and I haven't met him since."[3]

Crause Steyl explained it: "I met Mark (Thatcher) three or four times. He was a partner in the venture. He put in about $250,000. The money was wired to my company account in various installments. The helicopters cost about $600 an hour plus $5,000 each for the pilots and $10,000 a month for special insurance."[3]

On 13 October 2004 in London, a lawyer for the Equatorial Guinea government said that telephone records showed four calls between the homes of one of the alleged financiers behind the plot, Ely Calil, and Lord Jeffrey Archer in the run-up to the coup attempt in March.[3] Another alleged plotter, Greg Wales, also made five calls to Sir Mark Thatcher in the days after the failed coup.[4]

Mark Thatcher reportedly "likened the need for radical change in the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea to the way London's Docklands had been redeveloped during the 1980s."[5]

Guilty Plea

On 13 January 2005, Mark Thatcher, pleaded guilty in a South African court to helping finance a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea. South African police were able to prove that Mr Thatcher had transferred about US$285,000 to the mercenaries that were to execute the operation and had met and talking frequently to them prior to the coup attempt. After pleading guilty, he was given a four-year suspended sentence and a fine of about US$560,000.[1]


An event carried out

Equatorial Guinea/2004 coup d'état attemptSouth Africa
Equatorial Guinea
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  1. a b {{URL||optional display text}}
  2. Leigh, David (11 April 2013). "Mark Thatcher's return to the spotlight". The Guardian
  3. a b c {{URL||optional display text}}
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  5. Margaret Thatcher 'gave her approval' to her son Mark's failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea