U.S. indicts international arms dealer Viktor Bout and American co-conspirator for money laundering, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Preet Bharara, the…

DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment against international arms dealer VIKTOR BOUT, and his associate RICHARD AMMAR CHICHAKLI, for allegedly conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) stemming from their efforts to purchase two aircraft from companies located in the United States, in violation of economic sanctions which prohibited such financial transactions.

The Indictment unsealed today also charges BOUT and CHICHAKLI with money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and six separate counts of wire fraud, in connection with these financial transactions.

“Viktor Bout was originally charged in March 2008 with conspiring to kill Americans by selling millions of dollars worth of weapons to Colombia-based narco-terrorists. Further investigation has revealed additional criminal activities by Bout including money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy. The additional charges contained in the newly unsealed superseding indictment amply illustrate the extraordinary breadth of Bout’s deadly criminal enterprise,” said Leonhart.

BOUT has been in custody in Thailand since March 6, 2008. Since BOUT’s arrest, the United States has been actively pursuing his extradition from Thailand on a separate set of U.S. charges. Those charges allege that BOUT conspired to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”) — a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia — to be used to kill Americans in Colombia. The United States has apprised Thai authorities of the new charges against BOUT unsealed today and will continue to work closely with them on this matter. The United States is also coordinating with INTERPOL to locate and arrest CHICHAKLI.

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