Viktor Indicted

After not much happened for a while, charges have been filed against Viktor Bout in a US court.

The indictment charges Viktor Bout with four terrorism offenses, including conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to kill U.S. officers or employees, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile.

Prosecutors said he was offering a deadly arsenal of weaponry: more than 700 surface-to-air missiles, thousands of guns, high-tech helicopters, and airplanes outfitted with grenade launchers and missiles. The indictment said his price-tag was $15 million to $20 million.

You can get the document here, at the CTB. The document specifically mentions two cargo planes he apparently produced a brochure (!) on, explaining how they could be used for accurate airdrops into the Colombian backwoods. I’d really love to know which aircraft they were, but there is nothing in the document that helps, and practically all types in the network are capable of airdropping to some degree or other. (An12, An24/26, Il-76…even the An124, if they can get hold of one, can do it, although it would be a tad dramatic.)

Meanwhile, there’s been a significant increase in the proportion of flights we’re logging from Dubai and Sharjah to various war zones that are carried out by Transavia Export of Minsk, which some think was the first Bout company of them all. It would be nice if the authorities in Sharjah didn’t let planes belonging to folk like this leave for unstated destinations; the night of the 5th-6th of May saw no less than four departures to “unknown” or “ZZZ”, including one Phoenix Aviation/AVE, one Transavia Export, and two South-Airlines.

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