Who is Viktor Bout and Why should Africa care?...(Updates)


Ab-Titchaz

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Ab-Titchaz

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Who is Viktor Bout, and why should Africa care?

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This man is believed to be the biggest illegal arms dealer in history, and his largest market is Africa. Arrested and held in Thailand, will he spill the beans?


By NATION Reporter
Posted Thursday, November 4 2010 at 17:43


The “Merchant of Death” is just one of the labels given to Viktor Bout, the man on the left who is believed to be the biggest illegal arms dealer in history.

A dissident who has been second on the US intelligence agencies’ most-wanted list — after Osama Bin Laden — Bout had a weapons smuggling empire which lasted at least a decade and spanned three continents, including in Africa’s most murderous hot spots.

At only 43, he is believed to have provided weapons to every major armed conflict in the last decade, and even inspired the blockbuster movie Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage (Bout was not too impressed).

Viktor has been in a Thai prison since 2008 and may be extradited to the United States for trial, something he has been doggedly appealing, and which some African politicians and generals have been equally hoping it doesn’t happen, given the information he has stockpiled on his dealings with them.

In the 1090s, regional and local conflict was rampant throughout many parts of western and central Africa. America’s National Security Council eventually decided to set-up electronic surveillance in war zones such as northeast Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1999. A common factor kept cropping up: Viktor Bout.

He was allegedly capable of arranging deliveries of weapons to the guerrillas that enabled them to greatly enhance their military capabilities. In Angola’s case, he even supplied weapons to both sides. Many of Africa’s wars may not have been possible, let alone sustainable, without his help.

He was associated with three areas in particular; weapon shipments, airplanes and diamond transport. It was the last of these that contributed to his undoing. In 2002, Sanjivan Ruprah, a Kenyan diamond mine owner, offered details about business dealings between Al Qaeda and the arms trade run by Bout.

There has been a great deal of hesitancy by legitimate dealers to ‘do’ business with Africa. Most of this was born out of fear of loss of investment due to insecurity or bad infrastructure, not for Bout. He even earned himself the tag of ‘Sanctions Buster’ for violating UN arms embargoes in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the DRC.

In the mid-’90s, the CIA circulated photographs showing Russian cargo aircraft, Antonovs and Ilyushins — which are built to land on almost any surface — and said these were part of Bout’s operation in Africa. He was criss-crossing the continent, transporting everything from frozen chicken to diamonds and helicopters.

Bout was doing deals whose existence was reliant on an unstable environment. And he was fortunate, in many ways, in his attempts to stay a step ahead of the authorities. International law does not target those who broker arms deals, and governments have had a hard time locating him, let alone building strong cases against him.

He was also fortunate to call many African leaders his ‘friends’. These included; Angolan rebel leader Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, Mobutu Sese Seko and Jean-Pierre Bemba who were respectively former president and vice-president to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Liberia’s notorious former president, Charles Taylor.

His explanations bordered on the ridiculous — he, for example, said of the photographs taken of him in Africa next to cargo planes being off-loaded by militia that they were simple shots of him taken after he accompanied one of his flower cargoes to the continent, and that he was simply admiring the landscape. Bout was born in 1967 to Russian parents in Tajikistan.

He has a strong military connection, having attended the Soviet Military Institute for Foreign Languages in Moscow and then going on to earn an economics degree from a Russian military college. He was also part of a military aviation regiment until 1991, spending two years in Mozambique during this time.

The most intriguing thing about this man was his ability to publicly live his life as one of the world’s most wanted. He claims to be someone who has found his success in the international transport business, as well as a father and husband. Bout began his career in air transport following the fall of the USSR, using abandoned military planes from the Soviet era.

His career, however, became difficult to maintain when, in 2002, Belgian authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. He subsequently went underground and hopped from capital to capital using aliases. In 2006, the US froze his assets but, interestingly, found that there was no law based on which he could be persecuted.

He was eventually caught in a ‘sting’ operation in Bangkok, Thailand, when he and US agents posing as Colombian rebels discussed shipments of arms to Colombia. Thai authorities took him in him shortly afterward. Even if Bout does fail the appeal, it will be a tricky process putting him on trial.

It may also bring more bad than good, considering the dossiers he has on not only many African governments, but also on western governments as well. If that doesn’t make it a diplomatically difficult paradigm, then fears that this case has the ability to unlock the secrets to many African wars — and, potentially, the ability to cause many more — certainly will.

What is certain is that Africa will be watching the unfolding developments raptly.


Daily Nation:*- DN2*|Who is Viktor Bout, and why should Africa care?
 

nzom

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nzom

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Every goal big or small is confluenced by two factors i.e. 1. whole hearted effort and 2. the grace of God. Hence late us work hard to end poverty in Tanzania and Africa in general
 

Aza

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Aza

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everything has its end!!
better we know those greedy afrikan leaders
who kill their fellows
 

Ab-Titchaz

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Ab-Titchaz

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Was the movie "Lord of War" loosely based on him? Someone let me know?
Yes it was....

At only 43, he is believed to have provided weapons to every major armed conflict in the last decade, and even inspired the blockbuster movie Lord of War, starring Nicholas Cage (Bout was not too impressed).
 

Baba_Enock

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Baba_Enock

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Ab_T

Hii umeiibua TENA? halafu timing yake sasa - baada ya uchaguzi?

Yale mambo ya DARWIN Nightmare yanawakera sana CCM - JK alikemea sana kwa nguvu zake zote hiyo MOVIE akiwa ziarani Mwanza.

Nadhani na MKKJ ataiunganisha na ile nyingine - Buhemba/Meremeta/Role of TZ in Great Lakes Nations "WARS aka Conflicts"
 

Pascal Mayalla

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Pascal Mayalla

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Read his story that guy must have been the guy behind Antononovs in Mwanza in the Darwin nightmare movie read here Arms and the Man - New York Times to see how connected he was...
Geza Ulole, thanks for this, tip kama hizi ndipo JF inapogeuka shule kwa sisi wapenzi wa non fiction, nimezama deep na hii nondo mpaka niko hatihati kutofikia deadline ya kazi ya watu!. Asante.
 

Ab-Titchaz

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Ab-Titchaz

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Ab_T

Hii umeiibua TENA? halafu timing yake sasa - baada ya uchaguzi?

Yale mambo ya DARWIN Nightmare yanawakera sana CCM - JK alikemea sana kwa nguvu zake zote hiyo MOVIE akiwa ziarani Mwanza.

Nadhani na MKKJ ataiunganisha na ile nyingine - Buhemba/Meremeta/Role of TZ in Great Lakes Nations "WARS aka Conflicts"
Mkuu hii ni common knowledge na nimekua nikimfuatilia huyu jamaa kama ataletwa Marekani. Warusi hawataki maana
inasemekana jamaa ana knowlegde ya the inner workings of Russian Intelligence.

...Je kuna uwezekano kua vigogo wa CCM wanauhusiano wa kiana na huyu bwana? Ile report ya UN ilieleza kua
kuna watu ndani ya Bongo ambao wana-support vita vya the Great Lakes by allowing arms to transit through Tanzania
on the way to these conflict region....Mwenzio hata sitoshangaa.
 

Ab-Titchaz

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Ab-Titchaz

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Jamaa anakwenda na maji huyooo....!!!


Thailand's PM approves Viktor Bout extradition to US

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Viktor Bout is alleged to have sold arms to warlords in Africa and Afghanistan



The Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said the alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout should be extradited to the United States.

His comments come after months of legal wrangling and delay to US extradition efforts.

An earlier attempt by the US to put Mr Bout on a plane was blocked by the Thai government.

Russia and the US have argued over the case, after his arrest in a joint Thai-US sting operation in 2008 in Bangkok.

Mr Bout was to be extradited in August, to face trial for conspiring to sell weapons to a Colombian rebel group.

The US and Russia have been squabbling over his fate since his arrest.

Mr Bout spent more than 15 years of allegedly running guns to African warlords and Islamic militants.

He was arrested at a Bangkok hotel by US agents posing as Colombian Farc rebels, after he allegedly tried to sell them weapons.

Mr Bout, dubbed the Merchant of Death by a British politician, is pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy to sell arms to Colombian rebels.

He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.

Moscow has been demanding his release, saying that Mr Bout is an innocent businessman.

Mr Bout, a former Russian air force officer, is thought to have knowledge of Russia's military and intelligence operations.

Analysts say Moscow is perhaps worried he might turn state witness on trial in the US, and reveal more than Russia would be comfortable with.


BBC News - Viktor Bout 'leaves Thailand to face US trial'
 

Ngisibara

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Ngisibara

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Thailand extradites alleged arms dealer Bout to US
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    • capt.42f23112a5af471f8f068da42943f3f1-42f23112a5af471f8f068da42943f3f1-0.jpg?x=213&y=298&xc=1&yc=1&wc=293&hc=410&q=85&sig=z28aT.peFqeUCngb.PDqAQ--
      AP – FILE - In this file photo taken on Aug. 11, 2010, alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout answers a question …


The Cabinet approved Bout's extradition Tuesday after a long legal battle, and Police Col. Supisarn Bhakdinarinath said the 43-year-old Russian was put aboard a plane in Bangkok at about 1:30 p.m. (0630 GMT; 1:30 a.m. EST) in the custody of eight U.S. officials.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the government sided with an earlier appeals court decision that Bout could be extradited.
Bout, a former Soviet air force officer who is reputed to have been one of the world's most prolific arms dealers, was arrested at a Bangkok luxury hotel in March 2008 as part of a sting operation led by U.S. agents. The head of a lucrative air transport empire, Bout had long evaded U.N. and U.S. sanctions aimed at blocking his financial activities and restricting his travel. He claims he ran a legitimate business and never sold weapons, and fought hard to avoid extradition.
"This is an unequivocally political decision, lobbied by the U.S. government," Bout's wife Alla said in Bangkok, according to televised remarks on Russia's NTV network. "It has no legal basis whatsoever."
Bout has allegedly supplied weapons that fueled civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa, with clients including Liberia's Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and both sides in Angola's civil war.
Russia had made strong public statements against Bout's extradition, and privately, both Moscow and Washington were reported to be exerting heavy pressure on Abhisit's government. U.S lawmakers also became involved, sending a letter to the Thai government urging extradition.
A Thai court in August of 2009 originally rejected Washington's request for Bout's extradition on terrorism-related charges. After that ruling was reversed by an appeals court in August this year, the U.S. moved to get him out quickly, sending a special plane to stand by.
However, just ahead of the appeals court ruling, the United States forwarded new money-laundering and wire fraud charges to Thailand in an attempt to keep Bout detained if the court ordered his release. But the move backfired by requiring a hearing on the new charges. Those were dismissed in early October.
Russia says Bout is an innocent businessman and wants him in Moscow. Experts say Bout has knowledge of Russia's military and intelligence operations and that Moscow does not want him going on trial in the United States.
___
Associated Press writer Yelena Yegorova in Moscow contributed to this report
 

Ab-Titchaz

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BANGKOK (AP) -- Thailand extradited accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the U.S. on Tuesday to face terrorism charges, siding with Washington in a tug of war with Moscow over whether to send him to stand trial or let him go home.


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Thai police commando stand guard for security in front of a private jet before alleged Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout boards at Don muang airport in Bangkok.



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Alleged Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout is escorted by Thai police commandos as he arrives at Don muang airport in Bangkok.



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Ab-Titchaz

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Thai prison security officer stands guard in front of Bangkwan central Prison in Nonthburi province before Bout's extradition begins.



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The motorcade believed to include Bout leaves from Bangkwan central Prison.



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Armed commando officers stand by as Bout's motorcade passes.



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In August, Bout answers a question from inside the detention room at a criminal court in Bangkok.




 

Profesy

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Profesy

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THIS IS WHO HE IS
It is believed that he didn't know much he may have just been a transporter. According to Estulin - long time invetigator of the Bilderberg group. He knows African leaders but he was the face. He transported Ostriches and ostrich eggs and the likes as well, it is crazy. The idea is to destroy Russia altogether.

 
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Ab-Titchaz

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Ab-Titchaz

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In October, Bout is led by armed Thai police commandoes



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In October, a Thai court dismissed a request to drop new charges against Bout, which further delayed to his long-awaited extradition to the United States.



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Bout walks past newsmen as he arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok



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