My encounter with Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who helped fuel some of Africa’s bloodiest conflicts. Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 on an international arrest warrant following a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operation aimed at suppliers of weapons to Farc which the group uses to defend its extensive drug trafficking operation.In the late 90s, Bout ran a weapons pipeline in to the war ravaged east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and shipped out minerals, such as the coltan used in making mobile phones, plundered by rebel groups and foreign armies. He also helped arm the Liberian rebel leader, Charles Taylor, who later became president and is now on trial before the international criminal court for war crimes.

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