Romanian Police, Part Of Intl Op To Arrest Russian Arms Dealer

U.S. authorities asked for the support of Romanian border police in apprehending suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is accused of supplying guns and ammunition that have fueled brutal conflicts around the world, Romanian police said Friday.

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Imaginea articolului Romanian Police, Part Of Intl Op To Arrest Russian Arms Dealer

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“For two weeks, officers with Romania’s Department Fighting Transborder Crime, under direct coordination of the organized crime division, conducted informational-operative activities aimed at locating the arms dealer and proving his illegal operations regarding international arms trafficking,” the police said in a statement.
 
Romanian border police, in collaboration with officers of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, set up several operation scenarios to capture Bout, who was reportedly seeking to meet several weapon buyers, including in Romania.
 
The agents recorded telephone calls between Bout, one of his “lieutenants” and undercover police officers regarding a weapon transport worth $5 million to Columbia. Police tried to lure Bout to Romania and arrest him.
 
The American authorities announced they apprehended Bout in Thailand on Thursday, after a sting operation in which US agents posed as Colombian rebels seeking an arsenal of modern weapons.
 
The operation was conducted with the help of police officers in Thailand, Romania, Denmark and Dutch Antilles.
 
Bout, who was called the "Merchant of Death" in a book about his life, was arrested on a warrant issued by a Thai court on charges of attempted mass murder, police Major General Pongpat Chayaphan told AFP Thursday.
 
Bout’s life was the inspiration for Nicolas Cage's character in the film "Lord of War."

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