Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” was a famous arms dealer. He sold a lot of weapons, mostly in the 1980s and 1990s, after the Soviet Union collapsed. He used his own air companies for this. In 2008, he got arrested in Thailand for terrorism and was later sent to the U.S. where he was found guilty of planning to kill U.S. officials and citizens.
He was in jail for 25 years. The actor Nicolas Cage played him in the movie “Lord of War.” In 2022, Russia got him back in exchange for basketball player Brittney Griner.
This article talks about Viktor Bout, his money, and his business. You’ll learn about how he made $50 million, who he sold weapons to, and what happened to him, including his arrest and how he’s doing now.
Viktor Bout Net Worth
Viktor Bout is a famous arms dealer. As of 2024, it’s thought that Viktor Bout has about $55 million. But, it’s hard to know his exact money and belongings because they are spread out and hidden in different places. Some of his stuff has been taken or stopped by the law, while he has given or sold other things to people he knows or his family.
Viktor Bout Military Service
Bout finished his studies at a military language institute and worked in the Soviet military. He learned to speak Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, English, French, and Russian.
He often worked as a translator for the Soviet Army because he knew many languages. When the USSR broke apart in 1991, he left the army.
Viktor Bout Career Beginnings
After leaving the army, there are different stories about what Bout did. His own website says he started an air freight company called Air Cess in Angola, which worked with the US, France, and the United Nations. In 1994, he shipped goods to Afghanistan’s government before the Taliban. Other sources claim he was a major in the GRU, worked for the KGB, or was an officer in the Soviet Air Forces.
From 1996 to 1998, Viktor Bout is believed to have illegally sent weapons from Bulgaria to Africa, possibly for use in Angola’s civil war. He’s also accused of giving arms to Charles Taylor in Liberia’s civil war and being involved in arms trafficking during the Yugoslav Wars.
In 2004, Bout and Richard Chichakli started an airline in Tajikistan, thought to be for money laundering. Bout is suspected of providing arms in Africa and sending missiles to Kenya for an attack on an Israeli plane. He had significant business in Libya but avoided legal trouble by constantly moving and changing his companies and planes.
Viktor Bout Arrest and Extradition
In 2000, Viktor Bout was charged in the Central African Republic for making fake documents, but these charges were later dropped. In 2002, Belgium asked Interpol for a red notice (an international arrest warrant) against him for money laundering, but the case was closed because Bout didn’t have a permanent home and the case took too long. In 2004, the US froze his assets.
In 2008, the US Drug Enforcement Administration set up a trap for Bout, and he was arrested in Thailand based on the Interpol notice from the US. After a court hearing in Bangkok in 2009, he was initially not sent to the US.
But in 2010, after the US appealed, Thailand decided to extradite him to the US. This made the Russian government very unhappy. They said the extradition was for political reasons and not legal, and they put sanctions on those involved in the extradition.
Viktor Bout got a 25-year prison sentence but was freed in 2022 in a swap for American basketball player Brittney Griner:
View this post on Instagram
Viktor Bout Prosecution and Conviction
After being arrested in Bangkok, Viktor Bout was accused by the US Department of Justice of planning to kill Americans and helping terrorists. They also said he tried to sell missile launchers. In early 2010, they added more charges. A court in New York found him guilty in November 2011. He was given a 25-year jail sentence in April 2012.
Brittney Griner Exchange
In July 2022, the U.S. government proposed trading Viktor Bout, a Russian, for Brittney Griner, a WNBA player detained in Russia for drug charges. This swap happened on December 8, 2022.
Where is Viktor Bout Now?
Viktor Bout is now living in Russia. In 2022, he joined the Liberal Democratic Party and campaigned for a seat in the Ulyanovsk Oblast Legislative Assembly. However, he is still wanted by the U.S. and other countries for illegal arms dealing.
Atlas Monroe, renowned for their revolutionary vegan cuisine, has made significant strides in the food industry, showcasing how plant-based alternatives can triumph in taste and nutrition. Similarly, Yono Clip, a unique innovation in the world of convenience and organization, stands out in the market.
Both companies have garnered attention for their inventive approaches, leading many to ponder the net worth of Atlas Monroe and Yono Clip. These entities epitomize the successful fusion of creativity and practicality, making their financial valuations a topic of considerable interest.
Viktor Bout Nick Name
Viktor Bout got the nickname “Merchant of Death” because in 2003, a British minister named Peter Hain told the United Nations about Bout’s big operations. He was known for selling weapons to many clients and ignoring bans.
A report pointed out that Bout was a major player in moving weapons from Eastern Europe, mainly Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine, to Africa and the Middle East.
This nickname became more famous because of a book titled “Merchant of Death” by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun. The book talks about how Bout was involved in trading money, guns, and planes, and played a role in wars.