Friday, March 07, 2008

Victor Bout arrested

The infamous Russian, known to anyone who's worked in African conflicts over the last twenty years, was arrested today in a sting operation by US DEA officials in Thailand. The so-called 'Merchant of Death', the subject of a book and movie ('Lord of War', with Nicolas Cage) supplied arms and military hardware to all sides of almost every major global conflict, including the Taliban in Afghanistan, and yet lived openly in a Moscow luxury high rise until his Thailand trip. His links to African blood diamonds and Al Qaeda financing have been the subject of much research, mostly by Doug Farah, formerly of the Washington Post.

Hopefully this will stop the US from hiring him as a subcontractor on its 'heavy lift' cargo operations, under KBR, Fedex and others. More on his liaisons with the very governments ostensibly seeking his arrest over the years on Doug Farah's blog here.

Here is Bout on an airfield in North Kivu in Eastern DRC during the war.

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