Bout Arrested

After years of eluding authorities, Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok on March 6, 2008, targeted by an undercover sting operation by federal narcotics agents. American officials said Bout was lured into a sting operation that led him to believe he was negotiating an arms deal with agents for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Merchant of Death was cited in the U.S. criminal complaint against Bout and in the Congressional Record, and the book and its authors were widely quoted in the international media about the case:

Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2008, by Stephen Braun and Judy Pasternak: “The long hunt for a man regarded as one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers climaxed Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand, where an eight-month sting operation by a team of U.S. agents led to the capture and arrest of Russian businessman Viktor Bout during an alleged attempt to supply Colombian rebels with weapons and explosives.”

Washington Post, March 7, 2008: “”One of the most fascinating things is his ability not only to supply different sides of a conflict, but to live and tell about it with no one killing him,” said Douglas Farah, a former Washington Post reporter and co-author of a 2007 book about Bout, “Merchant of Death.”

New York Times, March 7, 2008: “With Thursday’s arrest Mr. Bout, already the principal character of one book, “Merchant of Death,” by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, may well find himself the subject of another, said Michael A. Braun, the chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, at a news conference in New York. “And I can tell you that it will read like the very best work of Tom Clancy,” he said. “Only in this case, it won’t be fiction.”