Skip to comments.'Merchant of death' Victor Bout indicted for trying to buy US planes to ferry arms around world
Posted on 02/17/2010 6:34:15 PM PST by Cindy
Note: Photo included.
SNIPPET: "Bout and American-born pal Richard Chichakli were accused of creating a new business, Samar Airlines, which they thought was clean of any connection to their own bloody dealings.
Starting in the summer of 2007, Samar Airlines started making deals for airplanes and crews to ferry contraband between the United States and Tajikistan, the indictment said."
SNIPPET: "The Russian-born Bout is accused of wiring $1.7 million from bank accounts in Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Russia through banks in New York City and Salt Lake City to finance the scheme."
SNIPPET: "Bout, who is accused of supplying weapons to real war lords, from Charles Taylor in Liberia to the Taliban in Afghanistan, has been under arrest in Thailand since 2008, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration lured him to a sting that itself could be a movie plot.
DEA agents posed as Colombian guerrillas and got Bout on tape promising to sell the crew 700 to 800 surface-to-air missiles, enough ammo for a small war, cargo planes, even how-to classes to use the weapons."
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
Note: This the text is the exact text, but any formatting errors in reprinting this pdf here on FR is mine as copy/paste did not show any paragraphs at all. Fyi.
December 17, 2010
Note: The following text is a quote:
U.S. ANNOUNCES NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL ARMS DEALER VIKTOR BOUT AND AMERICAN CO-CONSPIRATOR FOR MONEY LAUNDERING, WIRE FRAUD, AND CONSPIRACY
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MICHELE M. LEONHART, the Acting Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (”DEA”), announced today the unsealing of an Indictment against international arms dealer VIKTOR BOUT, a/k/a “Boris,” a/k/a “Victor Anatoliyevich Bout,” a/k/a “Victor But,” a/k/a “Viktor Budd,” a/k/a “Viktor Butt,” a/k/a “Viktor Bulakin,” a/k/a “Vadim Markovich Aminov,” and his associate RICHARD AMMAR CHICHAKLI, a/k/a “Robert Cunning,” a/k/a “Raman Cedorov,” for allegedly conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (”IEEPA”) stemming from their efforts to purchase two aircraft from companies located in the United States, in violation of economic sanctions which prohibited such financial transactions.
The Indictment unsealed today also charges BOUT and CHICHAKLI with money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and six separate counts of wire fraud, in connection with these financial transactions.
BOUT has been in custody in Thailand since March 6, 2008. Since BOUT’s arrest, the United States has been actively pursuing his extradition from Thailand on a separate set of U.S. charges. Those charges allege that BOUT conspired to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas
Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”) — a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia — to be used to kill Americans in Colombia.
The United States has apprised Thai authorities of the new charges against BOUT unsealed today and will continue to work closely with them on this matter. The United States is also coordinating with INTERPOL to locate and arrest CHICHAKLI.
According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and other court documents:
BOUT, an international weapons trafficker since the 1990s, has carried out a massive weapons-trafficking business by assembling a fleet of cargo airplanes capable of transporting weapons and military equipment to various parts of the world, including Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The arms that BOUT has sold or brokered have fueled conflicts and supported regimes in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Sudan.
CHICHAKLI, an American citizen, has been a close associate of BOUT since at least the mid-1990s, assisting in the operations and financial management of BOUT’s network of aircraft companies.
Since at least 2000, BOUT’s role in fueling international conflicts with weapons, as well as his close relationship with CHICHAKLI, have been recognized by the international community. Based in part on their close association with former Liberian President CHARLES TAYLOR, both BOUT and CHICHAKLI have been the subject of United Nations Security Council (”UNSC”) sanctions restricting their travel and their ability to conduct business around the world.
According to the UNSC Sanctions Committee Concerning Liberia, BOUT “supported former President TAYLOR’s regime in [an] effort to destabilize Sierra Leone and gain illicit access to diamonds.” The Sanctions Committee also noted that CHICHAKLI, “an employee/associate” of BOUT’s, had a “significant role in assisting [BOUT] in setting up and managing a number of his key firms and moving money.” In addition, more than 25 companies affiliated with BOUT and CHICHAKLI have been listed by the Sanctions Committee as subject to similar restrictions concerning their assets and financial transactions. As a result of the UNSC’s resolutions and sanctions regime, all United Nations member states have been directed to freeze any funds, financial assets and economic resources owned or controlled by BOUT and CHICHAKLI, and to ensure that such monies are not made available to them, or used for their benefit, within the member states’ territories.
In 2004, consistent with the sanctions previously adopted by the UNSC concerning Liberia, the President of the United States issued an executive order prohibiting any transactions or dealings within the United States by individuals
affiliated with former President TAYLOR. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Treasury, pursuant to its authority under the IEEPA, prohibited BOUT from conducting any business in the United States. In 2005, that prohibition was extended to CHICHAKLI.
In 2006, similar to the sanctions relating to Liberia, the President of the United States issued an executive order prohibiting any transactions or dealings within the United States by individuals involved in the destabilization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Treasury Department identified BOUT as an individual subject to the Congo prohibitions.
The United Nations and IEEPA sanctions encumbered BOUT’s and CHICHAKLI’s efforts to conduct business within their existing corporate structures. Accordingly, the defendants took steps to form new companies, and to register these companies in the names of other individuals in order to create the false appearance that they had no affiliation with them.
One such company, Samar Airlines, was created in 2004, right after the majority of United Nations and IEEPA sanctions became effective. BOUT and CHICHAKLI were personally involved in the operational and business affairs and decisions of Samar Airlines, though they held out other individuals as being the officers of the company. In 2007, in violation of the IEEPA sanctions to which they were subject at the time, BOUT and CHICHAKLI, acting through Samar Airlines, contracted to purchase two Boeing aircraft from companies located in the United States.
In connection with the purchase of these aircraft and services relating thereto, BOUT and CHICHAKLI electronically transferred more than $1.7 million through banks in New York and into bank accounts located in the United States. They did so through a number of front companies, whose assets were also owned and controlled by BOUT, in order to evade the UNSC’s sanctions
regime and the IEEPA prohibitions. Upon the discovery that CHICHAKLI was connected to Samar Airlines, the U.S. Treasury Department blocked the funds that had been transferred into the bank accounts of the U.S. aviation companies.
* * *
The Indictment unsealed today charges BOUT and
CHICHAKLI with nine individual offenses:
Count One: Conspiracy to violate the International
Emergency Economic Powers Act;
Count Two: Money laundering conspiracy;
Count Three: Wire fraud conspiracy; and
Counts Four through Nine: Wire fraud.
If convicted, BOUT and CHICHAKLI face a maximum
sentence of 20 years in prison on each of Counts One through
The case is assigned to United States District Judge WILLIAM H. PAULEY III.
The charges unsealed today were the result of the close cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the DEA, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, and the U.S. Department of State.
“Viktor Bout allegedly made a career of arming bloody conflicts and supporting rogue regimes across multiple continents, even using the U.S. banking system to secretly finance a private fleet of aircraft. The United Nations and the United States have long-standing sanctions against Bout that stem from, among other things, his support of the most violent and destabilizing conflicts in recent African history.
Until his arrest in March 2008, Bout had found a way to circumvent these
sanctions, successfully evading the rule of law. This Office is committed to working with our partners in the United States, at the United Nations, and around the world to bring transnational criminals like Viktor Bout to justice,” said U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA.
“Viktor Bout was originally charged in March 2008 with conspiring to kill Americans by selling millions of dollars worth of weapons to Colombia-based narco-terrorists. Further investigation has revealed additional criminal activities by Bout including money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy. The
additional charges contained in the newly unsealed superseding indictment amply illustrate the extraordinary breadth of Bout’s deadly criminal enterprise,” said DEA Acting Administrator MICHELE M. LEONHART.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys ANJAN SAHNI, BRENDAN R. McGUIRE, JENNA M. DABBS, and CHRISTIAN R. EVERDELL are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Bank accounts in Tajikistan? Everybody knows you use accounts in Switzerland.
"In addition, more than 25 companies affiliated with BOUT and CHICHAKLI have been listed by the Sanctions Committee as subject to similar restrictions concerning their assets and financial transactions."
Bout was apparently “born in Tajikistan to Russian parents...” according to one online source.
Note: Photo included in this 3 page article.
“New Charges Against ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout
Russian Arms Dealer Sold Guns to Dictators, Revolutionaries and Worked for the U.S. in Iraq”
SNIPPET: “U.S. government contractors paid Bout-controlled firms roughly $60 million to fly supplies into Iraq in support of the U.S. war effort, according to a book about Bout called “Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Plans, and the Man Who Makes War Possible,” by reporters Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun.”
SNIPPET: “Chichakli is currently believed to be living in Russia according to people familiar with the case, the Justice Department said that it would be working with INTERPOL to locate and arrest Chichakli. Chichakli’s attorney Clay Scott, Jr. declined to comment on the indictment since he had not yet reviewed the charges.”
amateur hell. read the book on him. this guy has caused so much international war, it is almost unbelievable. this is actually incredible news, and a sad story in that the U.S. even used him to ferry around military items, because he was the only guy capable of doing it.
“’Merchant of Death’ Trial Still Looms”
tna ^ | 05.28.09 | William F. Jasper
Posted on May 28, 2009 7:17:07 PM PDT by Coleus
All I can say is that it is a “BOUT” time.
Interesting...vicor bout is accused by the USA for selling weapons to the talibs and aq.
isn´t this the same the USA did in the 80s?
oh yeah, in the 80s the talibs were our friends and we used them to fight the bad russian...sorry
Since this is an old thread, I assume you have an interest in Viktor Bout.
What’s new with Bout lately?
If you know, go ahead and update the thread.
“Viktor Bout, the Merchant of Death, to Stand Trial in the United States”
By Douglas Farah
(August 20, 2010)
ON THE INTERNET:
Haven’t noticed your posts in a while. Good to see the update. Hope all is well!
All is well. Thank you Gene Eric.
A blessed Lord’s Day to you.
They do this stuff all the time.
‘Merchant of death’ Victor Bout indicted for trying to buy US planes
to ferry arms around world
Got to admit I liked the Nicholas Cage film based (IIRC) on Bout.
Especially when the one “customer” in Africa said he wanted “the gun
And Cage had to say “Rambo One, Two or Three?”
I just about broke a rib laughing at that!
I didn’t see the movie.
Did the guy “customer” finally say, “Can I have all three?”
“Trial begins for accused global arms dealer Viktor Bout”
Last Updated: 4:54 PM, October 11, 2011
Posted: 4:53 PM, October 11, 2011
SNIPPET: “Viktor Bout, the alleged Russian arms dealer described as “one of the most dangerous men” in the world, went on trial Tuesday in New York.
The former Soviet military officer is accused of attempting to sell a huge arsenal including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles to US agents in Thailand posing as members of Colombia’s FARC leftist guerrilla organization.”
“Viktor Bout, known as the ‘Merchant of Death,’ jumped at chance to help kill Americans: prosecutors”
BY SCOTT SHIFREL NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, October 12th 2011, 12:39 PM
“Ex-Soviet arms dealer Viktor Bout, aka the ‘Merchant of Death,’ will get 25 year sentence: judge
Judge has not yet officially handed down sentence”
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 5:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 5:44 PM
SNIPPET: “Thursday’s hearing is for 45-year-old Viktor Bout, who was convicted on terrorism charges that grew from a U.S. sting operation. Bout faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.”
April 5, 2012
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Viktor Bout Sentenced to 25 Years for Terrorist Crimes
APR 05 - (New York) DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart today announced today that international arms dealer Viktor Bout was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons, including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles and over 20,000 AK-47s to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the FARC), a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia. Bout understood that the weapons would be used to kill Americans in Colombia. On November 2, 2011, Bout was convicted on all four counts for which he was charged after a three-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.
The crimes Viktor Bout committed represent the worst case scenario for modern law enforcement—the merger of criminal international narcotics cartels with their terrorism enablers, Leonhart said. But his sentencing today also reflects the best of modern international law enforcement— sophisticated, determined, and coordinated. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of criminal investigators and prosecutors in the United States, Thailand, Romania, Curacao and elsewhere, the Merchant of Death has finally been held to account in a court of law for his years of profiteering from death and misery around the world.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: Viktor Bout has been international arms trafficking enemy number one for many years, arming some of the most violent conflicts around the globe. He was finally brought to justice in an American court for agreeing to provide a staggering number of military grade weapons to an avowed terrorist organization committed to killing Americans. Todays sentence is a fitting coda for this career arms trafficker of the most dangerous order.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at the trial:
Since the 1990s, Bout has been an international weapons trafficker. As a result of his weapons trafficking activities in Liberia, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control within the Department of Treasury placed him on the Specially Designated Nationals list in 2004. The designation prohibits any transactions between Bout and U.S. nationals, and freezes any of his assets that are within the jurisdiction of the United States.
Between November 2007 and March 2008, Bout agreed to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the FARC, including 700-800 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), over 20,000 AK-47 firearms, 10 million rounds of ammunition, five tons of C-4 plastic explosives, ultralight airplanes outfitted with grenade launchers, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Bout agreed to sell the weapons to two confidential sources working with the DEA (the CSs), who represented that they were acquiring them for the FARC, with the specific understanding that the weapons were to be used to attack U.S. helicopters in Colombia.
During a covertly recorded meeting in Thailand on March 6, 2008, Bout stated to the CSs that he could arrange to airdrop the arms to the FARC in Colombia, and offered to sell them two cargo planes that could be used for arms deliveries. He also provided a map of South America and asked the CSs to show him American radar locations in Colombia. Bout said that he understood that the CSs wanted the arms to use against American personnel in Colombia, and advised that, We have the same enemy, referring to the United States. He also stated that the FARCs fight against the United States was also his fight and that he had been fighting the United States for 10 to 15 years. During the meeting, he also offered to provide people to train the FARC in the use of the arms.
The evidence presented at trial included a recording of the March 6, 2008 meeting between Bout, the CSs, his former associate Andrew Smulian, and others. Smulian was charged along with Bout in March 2008 and pled guilty in July 2008. Smulian cooperated with the Government and, along with the two CSs, provided testimony at the trial.
In addition to his prison term, Judge Scheindlin sentenced Bout to 25 years of supervised released and ordered him to forfeit $15 million.
Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 based on a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. He was subsequently charged in a four-count indictment in April 2008 and extradited to the Southern District of New York in November 2010. At trial, he was convicted of (1) Conspiring to kill U.S. nationals; (2) Conspiring to kill U.S. officers and employees; (3) Conspiring to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles; and (4) Conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Besides the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Southern District of New York, the Royal Thai Police were instrumental in the success of the Bout case. In addition, the Romanian National Police, the Romanian Prosecutors Office Attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Korps Politie Curaçao of the Netherlands Antilles, and the Danish National Police Security Services assisted, as well as the U.S. Department of Justices Office of International Affairs who also participated in this investigation.