18 December 2009
The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) has provided specifics on key players in weapons purchase with ordered access to the country's finances, listing former Maritime Commissioner Benoni Urey, now Mayor of Careysburg, as the liaison in dealing with and purchasing weapons from Viktor Bout
Referred by the former US National Security Council member Lee S. Wolosky as "the most powerful player in the trafficking of illegal arms, " the TRC report says his contact person within Chares Taylor's team during the Liberian war was Mr. Urey.
Urey allegedly embezzled funds from the Liberian International Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR) that were used to purchase weapons, helped manage LSC and was a primary point of contact between the Taylor regime and Viktor Bout.
Dec. 17, 2009
In its hull, police found 35 tons of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles, all being transported from North Korea in breach of U.N. sanctions.
Griffiths says the plane was previously registered to a company that has links to self-professed Serbian gunrunner Tomislav Damnjanovic and to three companies controlled by Bout, who has been dubbed the "Merchant of Death"
December 16, 2009
[---]That, however, was enough to find the serial number (3426765). And what did we find in the database for that?
4L-AWA is none other than Air Pass/Air Cess’s Swazi registry 3D-RTA, Centrafricain Airlines’ TL-ACY, and GST Aero’s UN-76007 – to put it another way, it’s been with Viktor Bout companies since 1997
Supposedly it was carrying a sizable cargo of arms from North Korea declared as “oil drilling equipment”. (wot no fish?) I don’t know where to, or whether there is truth to the North Korean bit, but it was an aircraft well worth stopping on suspicion based on an asset operating history analysis.
Wild speculation would be that this can’t help Viktor Bout’s case very much and that therefore this is quite a coup.
Dec 19, 2009
The source said Viktor Bout, an arms dealer who is being detained at the same prison awaiting a court order over an extradition request from the US authorities, had not been visited or questioned by any Thai or foreign security authorities, despite media speculation that he may have been involved with the smuggling operation.
A flight plan for the IL-76, obtained by researchers in the U.S. and Belgium, shows that after Bangkok the plane was due to make refueling stops in Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine before unloading its cargo in Tehran.
Dec. 21, 2009
A planeload of North Korean arms seized in Bangkok was reportedly bound for Iran, which has been buying up large amounts of weaponry in recent months as it braces for a possible onslaught by Israel, and possibly the United States.
The aircraft had previously been registered with three companies identified by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control as controlled by Viktor Bout, arguably the world's most infamous arms trafficker
19 April 2010
A article published Saturday in El Tiempo documents the intertwined networks that exist between Colombia's various neo-paramilitary groups, drug cartels, left-wing guerrillas, and a Russian trafficking syndicate, all of whom have entered into an alliance to move arms into Colombia while moving coc aine out.
According to El Tiempo, various illegal armed groups in Colombia have - despite historical ideological differences - managed to come to agreements to work together in the arms and drug trade.
Evidence taken from computers seized from the FARC reveals not only the connections between the FARC and paramilitary organizations which emerged after the demobilization of the AUC coalition, such as the relationship between FARC's 30th Front and the "Los Rastrojos" gang, but also between the FARC and a Russian arms smuggling syndicate.
Authorities report that the notorious Russian arms dealer, Victor Bout, who was captured in Thailand in 2008 and is awaiting extradition to the United States, had dealings with the FARC.
A Bangkok court on Monday dismissed a claim by alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout against a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer.
Former Russian army officer Bout, 43, remains in custody in a Thai jail after the Bangkok Criminal Court refused in August to extradite him to the United States, where he is facing four terrorism-related charges and a possible life sentence.
April 27, 2010
A Thai criminal court dismissed Monday a claim by international arms dealer Viktor Bout, the so-called "Merchant of Death," that his March 2008 arrest by Royal Thai Police in Bangkok was illegal because a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent assisted in the apprehension.
May 21, 2010
The British supermodel is set to play a starring role in the trial at The Hague of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian President. International prosecutors asked UN judges yesterday to force Ms Campbell to testify over allegations that she received a huge “blood diamond” from the besotted Liberian strongman.
The UN Special Court for Sierra Leone in January heard claims that Mr Taylor gave Ms Campbell a “large diamond” after a September 1997 dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela.
Ms Campbell was a guest of Mr Mandela on board the Blue Train, a luxury South African rail service. Also on the trip was Mia Farrow, the actress. Mr Taylor later joined the party for dinner.
The claim about the diamond was first made by Ms Farrow, now an outspoken campaigner on African issues.
20 May 2010
White has testified that she heard Taylor say he was going to give Campbell diamonds and was present when they were delivered.
Campbell has refused to comment, storming out of one interview when asked about the issue, knocking over a camera on her way out. She told the US chatshow host Oprah Winfrey: "I don't want to get involved in this man's case – he has done some terrible things. I don't want to put my family in danger."
If they put my name in that computer, the computer not only gonna play music... It's gonna dance! It's gonna jump around! It's gonna do all kind of things...
June 28, 2010
A federal grand jury in Miami, Florida has indicted an Israeli defense consultant and an American citizen of conspiring to transfer hundreds of AK-47s to northern Somalia.
Beginning in April, according to the indictment, Miller conspired with his American co-defendant to find an air cargo service to fly hundreds of AK-47s from Bosnia to the northern Somalian city of Banderal, using false end user certificates of Chad, in violation of U.S. arms export control laws. Somalia is under a UN arms embargo. But the transport services source they contacted turned out to be an informant for the U.S. Customs and Immigrations Enforcement (ICE) agency, the indictment describes.
June 28, 2010
A retired U.S. Air Force colonel charged in the 1980s in an Iran weapons smuggling case has been indicted in Miami with conspiring with an Israeli aeronautics engineer to illegally export 2,000 AK-47s to Somalia.
O’Toole, a former Vietnam pilot turned aviation consultant, was charged in 1989 with conspiring with a controversial Israeli self-described former government agent, Ari Ben-Menashe, and a Connecticut resident Richard St. Francis, with trying to sell three U.S. C-130 air cargo planes to Iran. But the charges were dropped in 1991 during the first Gulf War.
If convicted, O’Toole could face a sentence of 55 years in prison, plus a fine of $1.5 million, and Miller could face 75 years in prison, and a fine of $2 million, the Justice Department said.
BANGKOK - A THAI court Friday ordered the extradition of alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the 'Merchant of Death", to the United States on terrorism charges, prompting an angry response from Moscow.
Judge Jitakorn Patansiri said the extradition must take place within the next three months.
The world’s most notorious arms dealer is coming to America to stand trial. And that has Russia very worried.
Bout should be extradited in about a week, although the Russian government has already made clear it will do what it can to slow the process even further. There is, under Thai law, no further appeal allowed of this ruling
BANGKOK, August 23 (Itar-Tass) - Russian citizen Viktor Bout was transferred to Thailand’s Bang Kwan Prison and put in a solitary cell, Alla Bout, his wife, told ltar-Tass on Monday. Bang Kwan Prison is the oldest prison in Bangkok that used to be known as Bangkok Hilton.
The United States brought new charges against Bout on Friday just hours before the court made its final decision.
According to the new extradition request, Bout and his former business partner, U.S. citizen Richard Chichakli, are accused of money laundering, telegraph and internet-mediated money transfer fraud, and violating the U.S. president's sanctions against them.
However, Bout's lawyer said that the new charges could prevent the extradition as a new case may have to be opened in Thailand.
Thailand has been asked to drop money laundering and fraud charges against accused Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to speed up his extradition to the US, a government source says.
The source said Washington, which had asked Thailand to lay the additional charges, contacted the government to withdraw them after the Appeal Court on Friday approved Mr Bout's extradition.
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has confirmed that Sirichoke Sopha, a close aide to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, met him to make inquiries into how ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra's plane could be brought down.
He claimed Mr Sirichoke asked him whether Thaksin had paid to have an aircraft smuggle arms from North Korea to Sri Lanka in December of last year, before the shipment was seized in Thailand.