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‘Merchant of death’ air cargo man gets 25 years

[ April 10, 2012   //   ]

Arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed the “merchant of death”, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail by a US judge, the BBC reported. The 45 year old the ex-Soviet officer tuirned cargo airline boss was found guilty in November of attempting to sell arms to a supposed Colombian rebel group in 2008 who were in fact US informants.

Bout operated a fleet of ex-Soviet cargo planes and claimed to be a simple airfreight operator, not an arms dealer. His defence was that he was just trying to sell two old cargo aircraft for $5m and was baiting the ‘rebels’ with the promise of arms, but only wanted to sell his planes, said his defence lawyer.

Bout was the inspiration for the arms smuggler in the 2005 Hollywood film, Lord of War.

 

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