Who is Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer traded for American basketball player Brittney Griner? | TF1 NEWS

Who is Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer traded for American basketball player Brittney Griner?  |  TF1 NEWS

Who is Viktor Bout the Russian arms dealer traded for

Incarcerated in the United States since 2012, Viktor Bout is considered one of the biggest arms traffickers in the world. He was born in 1967 in Dushanbe, the current capital of Tajikistan, which at that time was part of the USSR. A polyglot, Bout masters ten languages, which allows him to work as an interpreter in the Russian air force upon leaving his studies.

In 1991, when the USSR collapsed and his unit was dissolved, Bout turned to arms trafficking. He was then 24 years old and took advantage of cheap offers of Soviet weapons. He recovers many planes and helicopters, settles in Belgium and rents the machines at a high price.

If the company quickly files for bankruptcy in Belgium, it continues to develop its fleet of aircraft. Thanks to multiple shell companies, he created several airlines in countries with little regard, and illegally delivered weapons to many tense areas in the 1990s: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Colombia, Philippines . He is also strongly suspected of having supplied arms to Sudan during the civil war in Darfur, violating the embargo under which the country was.

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