Arrest: What Are Viktor Bout Charges?

Arrest: What Are Viktor Bout Charges? Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer, was released on December 8, 2022, as part of a prisoner swap for Brittney Griner, a US basketball player.

Viktor Anatolyevich Bout, colloquially known as Viktor Bout, is a Russian arms dealer. He is also an entrepreneur and former Soviet military translator who smuggled weapons through his companies.

For nearly two decades, Viktor rose to prominence as the world’s most infamous arms trader, supplying weapons to rogue nations, rebel forces, and ruthless warlords in Africa, Asia, and South America.

His fame was such that it inspired a Hollywood film, Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage. Bout was imprisoned at the Marion United States Penitentiary prior to his release.

Arrest: What Are Viktor Bout Charges?

The Royal Thai Police arrested Viktor Bout, also known as “the merchant of death,” on 6 March 2008 in Thailand on terrorism charges.

Under the Extradition Act with Thailand, the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Eric G. John, requested the arms dealer’s extradition. The Thain High Court mandated his handover in August 2010.

Viktor Bout was accused of wanting to sell weapons to a U.S. DEA informant posing as a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) so that they could be used against American forces in Colombia. Still, he denied the accusations and anticipated his release.

A U.S. judge sentenced him to 25 years in jail in 2012 for various offenses connected to his history of dealing in weapons.

His case has been seen as a glaring injustice, and his home country has consistently maintained his innocence and worked to gain his release.

Who Is Viktor Bout?

Viktor Bout was born in Dushanbe, Soviet Tajikistan, on January 13, 1967. He speaks several languages.

He is also a father of two children. Alla Bout is said to be Viktor Bout’s wife. Elizaveta Viktorovna Bout is the couple’s only child.

He received his diploma from the Military Institute of Foreign Languages. Furthermore, the arms dealer served as a translator in the Soviet Armed Forces, rising to the rank of lieutenant in Angola.

Viktor’s business later became centered on Angola. Bout’s major accomplishment occurred in the days following the fall of the Communist bloc in 1989-1991.

He used a sudden surplus of abandoned Soviet-era weapons at the time to spark a series of fratricide civil wars in Asia, Africa, and other places.

In the United Arab Emirates, the merchant of death acquired a squadron of approximately 60 obsolete Soviet military aircraft. As the Soviet Union’s massive air fleet began to crumble, he distributed his products worldwide.

Viktor Bout has also authored a book (biography) titled “Merchant of Death: Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible” in 2007.

Viktor Bout Prison Swap With Brittney Griner

As mentioned above, the Russian arms dealer was freed in a prisoner exchange deal for the athlete Brittney Griner. The Russian citizen spent 14 years in prison.

Arrest: What Are Viktor Bout Charges?
Viktor Bout was released on 8 December 2022 in a prison swap with Brittney Griner. (Image Source: Wikipedia)

The basketball player, Griner, was arrested at a Moscow Airport for possessing hashish oil in February 2022.

According to Reuters, on Thursday, the U.S. President, Joe Biden, said that Brittney Griner had been freed as a part of what Russia claimed to be a swap for Viktor Bout.

The U.S. president tweeted Griner was safe and on the plane on her way home. Viktor also seems to have returned to his home country. Home 

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