Viktor Anatolyevich Bout (Russian: Виктор Анатольевич Бут; born 13 January 1967) is a Russian arms dealer.
He was arrested in Thailand in 2008 before being extradited in 2010 to the United States to stand trial on terrorism charges after having been accused of intending to smuggle arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for use against U.S. forces. On 2 November 2011, he was convicted by a jury in a Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing aid to a terrorist organization.
A former Soviet military translator, Bout had reportedly made a significant amount of money through his multiple air transport companies, which shipped cargo mostly in Africa and the Middle East during the 1990s and early 2000s. Bout was equally willing to work with Charles Taylor in Liberia, the United Nations in Sudan, and the United States in Iraq, and he may have facilitated huge arms shipments during the 1990s into various civil wars in Africa with his private air cargo fleets.
Bout says he has done little more than provide logistics, but former British Foreign Office minister Peter Hain called Bout a "sanctions buster" and described him as "the principal conduit for planes and supply routes that take arms from east Europe, principally Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine, to Liberia and Angola".
In cooperation with American authorities, Royal Thai Police arrested Bout in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 6, 2008. The United States ambassador requested his extradition under the Extradition Act between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States, which was eventually mandated by the Thai High Court in August 2010. Before his extradition to the United States in November 2010, Bout expressed confidence that this U.S. trial would eventually lead to his acquittal, but this did not occur. From January 2011 to Jun...