World’s most notorious arms dealer arrested in Thailand

News this morning that “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout, one of the world’s top arms trafficker to guerillas and governments alike, has been arrested in Thailand. FP readers will be familiar with Bout from our profile of the notorious arms dealer, who made his fortune running guns and other illicit cargo for everyone from Qaddafi ...

596117_080306_merchant_death2.jpg
596117_080306_merchant_death2.jpg

News this morning that "Merchant of Death" Viktor Bout, one of the world's top arms trafficker to guerillas and governments alike, has been arrested in Thailand. FP readers will be familiar with Bout from our profile of the notorious arms dealer, who made his fortune running guns and other illicit cargo for everyone from Qaddafi to the Pentagon.

Bout, who has openly been living the high life in Moscow for the past few years, is apprarently being held by Thai authorities on the basis of a U.S. DEA warrant accusing Bout of supplying guns to Colombia's FARC rebels. Given that attempts to capture Bout -- or at least disrupt his business -- have been hobbled by the lack of international enforcement mechanisms and toothless sanctions, it'll be interesting to see whether these charges stick and Bout's network is actually dismantled. Regardless, there are no doubt dozens of traffickers waiting in the wings to soak up Bout's clients. A formal announcement from the DEA is due today. Check back with us for rolling updates.

News this morning that “Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout, one of the world’s top arms trafficker to guerillas and governments alike, has been arrested in Thailand. FP readers will be familiar with Bout from our profile of the notorious arms dealer, who made his fortune running guns and other illicit cargo for everyone from Qaddafi to the Pentagon.

Bout, who has openly been living the high life in Moscow for the past few years, is apprarently being held by Thai authorities on the basis of a U.S. DEA warrant accusing Bout of supplying guns to Colombia’s FARC rebels. Given that attempts to capture Bout — or at least disrupt his business — have been hobbled by the lack of international enforcement mechanisms and toothless sanctions, it’ll be interesting to see whether these charges stick and Bout’s network is actually dismantled. Regardless, there are no doubt dozens of traffickers waiting in the wings to soak up Bout’s clients. A formal announcement from the DEA is due today. Check back with us for rolling updates.

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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