Arms Dealer Charged in US With Conspiracy To Sell Surface-to-Air Missiles To FARC

LAWFUEL.COM – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and MICHELE M. LEONHART, the
Acting Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement
Administration (“DEA”), announced today the unsealing of charges
against VIKTOR BOUT, a/k/a “Boris,” a/k/a “Victor Anatoliyevich
Bout,” a/k/a “Victor But,” a/k/a “Viktor Budd,” a/k/a “Viktor
Butt,” a/k/a “Viktor Bulakin,” a/k/a “Vadim Markovich Aminov,” an
international arms dealer, and his associate ANDREW SMULIAN for
conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”) — a
designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia.
BOUT was arrested yesterday by Thai authorities in Bangkok.
According to the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal

Between November 2007 and February 2008, BOUT and
SMULIAN agreed to sell to the FARC millions of dollars worth of
weapons –- including surface-to-air missile systems (“SAMs”) and
armor piercing rocket launchers. During a series of recorded
telephone calls and emails, BOUT and SMULIAN agreed to sell the
weapons to two confidential sources working with the DEA (the
“CSs”), who held themselves out as FARC representatives acquiring
these weapons for the FARC for use in Colombia.

In addition, during a series of consensually recorded
meetings in Romania, SMULIAN advised the CSs, among other things,
that: (1) BOUT had 100 SAMs available immediately; (2) BOUT
could also provide helicopters and armor piercing rocket
launchers; (3) BOUT could arrange to have a flight crew airdrop
the weapons into Colombian territory using combat parachutes; and
(4) BOUT and SMULIAN would charge the CSs $5 million to transport
the weapons. During one of the meetings with the CSs, SMULIAN
provided one of the CSs with a digital memory stick that
contained an article about BOUT, and documents containing
photographs and specifications for the SAMs and armor piercing
rocket launchers that SMULIAN had previously said BOUT could

In between his meetings with the CSs, SMULIAN spoke to
BOUT over a cellphone provided to him by one of the CSs at the
direction of the DEA. These conversations between SMULIAN and
BOUT were legally intercepted by foreign authorities. During one
of these conversations, BOUT and SMULIAN discussed the $5 million
delivery fee for the weapons. BOUT also told SMULIAN, in coded
language, that the weapons requested by the CSs were ready to be
delivered. Subsequent to these phone calls with SMULIAN, BOUT
engaged in multiple recorded phone calls with one of the CSs
during which they arranged the March 6, 2008 meeting in Bangkok.
BOUT and SMULIAN are charged with conspiracy to provide
material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist
organization. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum
sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

The U.S. plans to pursue the extradition of BOUT from

The arrest of BOUT yesterday was the result of close
cooperation between the Royal Thai Police and the DEA. Also
cooperating in this international enforcement operation were the
Romanian Border Police, the Romanian Prosecutor’s Office Attached
to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Korps Politie
Curacao of the Netherlands Antilles, and the Danish National
Police Security Services.

Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the DEA
and thanked the Royal Thai Police for their assistance. Mr.
GARCIA also thanked the Romanian Border Police, the Romanian
Prosecutor’s Office Attached to the High Court of Cassation and
Justice, the Korps Politie Curacao of the Netherlands Antilles,
and the Danish National Police Security Services, for their
cooperation, and thanked the U.S. Department of Justice Office of
International Affairs.

“Viktor Bout and Andrew Smulian agreed to arm
terrorists with high-powered weapons that have fueled some of the
most violent conflicts in recent memory,” said U.S. Attorney
MICHAEL J. GARCIA. “Today, they face charges in the United
States for agreeing to provide weapons to a terrorist
organization that has threatened, and continues to threaten,
American interests.”

“DEA and our partners now have this terrorist supporter
in custody where he can no longer ply his deadly trade,” said DEA
Acting Administrator MICHELE M. LEONHART. “This arms trafficker
was poised to arm a narco-terrorist organization, but he now
faces justice in the United States.”

Assistant United States Attorneys ANJAN SAHNI and
BRENDAN R. McGUIRE are in charge of the prosecutions.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely
accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
08-058 ###

Scroll to Top