Bout is a famous smuggler. He supposedly worked for the Russians.
Reportedly born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in 1967. He attended Moscow’s Military Institute of Foreign Languages. He is said to be fluent in six languages. These include Persian and Esperanto, which he had mastered by age 12.
With guns, planes and money, Viktor Bout was allowed to fuel almost every major conflict of the past 15 years. Some of his confidants say he was aided by well-connected Russian military-intelligence officers.
However, after two journalists from the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times got on his tail, he was arrested within three months of their expose.
In 2007, American narcotics agents were able to obtain "clearance" from senior US national-security officials to launch a sting operation against him.
Some allegations about Viktor
At one time though, Viktor owned the second largest airline in Afghanistan, behind Lufthansa, but ahead of the Afghan national airlines, at least thats according to his own claims. In Afghanistan, his planes flew arms to both the Northern Alliance and the Taliban.
Bout was suspected of supplying Charles Taylor with arms for use in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Eyewitnesses describe personal meetings between the two.
Bout was involved with a Soviet military operation in Angola in the late 1980s
Bout's air freight companies provided service to the French government, the UN and the U.S
In 1995 he was involved in negotiations to free Russian hostages during the 1995 Airstan incident.
He flew weapons to the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He sent his Antonov planes across the Atlantic in 1998 and 1999 to airdrop crates of AK-47s and other munitions in the foothills of the Andes.
He had his own security team with him: former Russian military-intelligence toughs.
Despite an international travel ban imposed by the UN, Bout moved at will across Third World war zones.
May have been in Mozambique in 1989.
Bout’s corporate earnings easily reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars, while his own personal net worth was conservatively estimated at $5 million in 1998.
Hundreds of flights into Iraq for the US military and other private contractors between 2003 and 2006. Bout’s freighters flew for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton.
He owned mansions in Belgium and South Africa, as well as a gated estate in Dubai.
May have smuggled weapons by carefully impersonating UN airplanes, possibly he even had permission to.