Thailand will extradite to the U.S. Russian alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout, also known as the “Merchant of Death,” who reportedly has ties to Colombian guerrilla organization the FARC.
Following a failed attempt in 2008 to extradite Bout, when a Thai court refused the U.S. extradition request, Washington appealed the decision.
The U.S. Justice Department alleges that Bout, among other crimes, sold 800 ground-air missiles, 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, explosives, land mines and other weapons worth millions of dollars.
Bout maintains his innocence but could not contain his tears when the Thai judge ruled that he be extradited to the U.S. in the next three months.
U.S. and British intelligence agencies allege that Bout runs one of the world’s largest arms smuggling networks. The 2005 film “Lord of War” is believed to be based in part on Bout’s alleged gun-running.
The Thai lawyer representing Bout said they intend to appeal the decision and will ask for intervention from the Thai government.