Conflict & Justice

International arms dealer captured

By reputation Bout is no ordinary Russian businessman, and he's now wanted by the US government to stand trial on terrorism charges. He's a trim, middle aged man with a brown mustache and blue eyes. The reason for the unexpected delay in Bout's charging is his lawyer had failed to show up. Back in March, Bout was arrested in his hotel in Bangkok after allegedly selling weapons to US agents who were posing as buyers for FARC, the Colombian rebel group. The sting operation went far beyond Bangkok though, says this analyst. The charges against Bout include conspiring to kill Americans and supplying materials to a terrorist group, namely FARC. He has denied the charges which can carry a life sentence. In the 1990s he was linked to the illegal arms trade in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and has supposedly smuggled weapons to warlords globally. Bout had access to Soviet arms caches. Thailand has a history of cooperation with the US in criminal manhunts and the US is hoping for a quick extradition. Bout is likely to put up a strong fight though, with a focus on the sting operation to arrest him.

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