Who Is Merchant of Death?: American authorities have freed one of the world's most notorious arms dealers, Viktor Bout. It is done in exchange for professional basketball player Brittney Griner. After playing in Russia, She was returning to the US when airport security in Moscow found cannabis oil in her luggage. For months, reports emerged in the American media that high-ranking state department officials had attempted to negotiate the release of Griner in exchange for the freedom of the arms dealer. In this article, we will read about Who is Merchant of Death? Keep reading.
Who Is Merchant of Death?
Russia-based arms dealer Viktor Anatolyevich Bout. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 2000s, this businessman and former Soviet military translator utilized his many enterprises to smuggle weapons from Eastern Europe to Africa and the Middle East. After British government politician Peter Hain presented a report to the UN in 2003 detailing Bout's broad business dealings.
With a long list of clients & propensity to evade embargoes, the nicknames “Merchant of Death” & “Sanctions Buster” stuck. On March 6, 2008, the Royal Thai Police, with the help of the United States Department of Justice & Interpol, conducted a sting operation in Thailand and detained a man named Bout on terrorism charges.
US Ambassador requested his extradition to Thailand Eric G. John & was ordered by the Thai High Court in August 2010. There were allegations that Bout planned to sell weapons to the U.S. The DEA informant contested the allegations and predicted his own acquittal on the grounds.
How Did He Get in the News?
On December 8, the United States and Russia traded fugitive Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, or “The Merchant of Death,” for the return of WNBA star Brittney Griner. Since 2008, when the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted a covert sting operation in Thailand and caught Bout, he has been held in an American jail. In May, when he was serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison for conspiring to sell tens of millions of dollars in weapons to be used against Americans, talk began about the prospect of exchanging Bout for Griner.
Who is Brittney Griner?
American professional basketball player Brittney Yevette Griner was born on October 18, 1990, and she now plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was a member of the Baylor Lady Bears, a college basketball team based in Waco, Texas.
In college basketball, she holds the record as the only player with 2,000 points and 500 blocks. In 2012, the three-time All-American helped Baylor win the NCAA men's basketball national championship. She was honored as the AP Player of the Year & Final 4 Most Outstanding Player.
What Happened to Brittney Griner?
Russia authorities nabbed Griner on smuggling allegations on February 17th, 2022. After the Federal Customs Service discovered she had vape cartridges with a gram of hash oil, she was held at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
She had been prescribed medical cannabis in Arizona, even though it is against the law in Russia. In reaction to Western sanctions placed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Some U.S. officials have voiced worry that Russia may be using Griner as leverage. Griner was found guilty & given a 9-year prison sentence on August 4.
She was fined 1 million rubles. On December 8, 2018, Russia released Griner in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout. After her family petitioned for her release with the support of the organization Bring Our Families Home.
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