FACT demands fair play for Viktor Bout!-New Yorker
April 4, 2012
[FACT comments: Alleged Russian ‘illegal’ arms dealer Viktor Bout was convicted in the US after his arrest in Thailand in 2008 for conspiracy to supply weapons to Colombia’s FARC guerrillas in a DEA sting. He has been demonised in the media as ‘Lord of War’ and ‘Merchant of Death’. Bout faces a life sentence at his sentencing April 5.
Convicted Syrian arms smuggler Monzer al-Kassar was arrested in 2007 in a similar FARC sting in Spain similarly arranged by the DEA. He was sentenced to 30 years in 2009.
However, here’s a Macau player who did precisely the same in 2005, without the assistance of the DEA, and got three and a half to four years. If the US has any fair play in the courts and true justice, Bout should not receive a greater sentence.
Note all these cases occurred after 9/11/2001 giving them equal weight. One might call all three of these men “inveterate gamblers” but perhaps that name belongs rightly to the US govt gambling with people’s lives.]
How Casinos in Macau China Made Siu Yun Ping Rich
The New Yorker: April 9, 2012
In recent years, U.S. federal agencies, including the F.B.I., the Secret Service, and the Internal Revenue Service, have become increasingly familiar with Macau. In an elaborate smuggling investigation that ended in 2005, undercover F.B.I. agents infiltrated a ring that included a Macau citizen named Jyimin Horng, who was accused of importing into the U.S. millions of dollars’ worth of counterfeit cigarettes, methamphetamines, and high-quality fake currency known as “supernotes,” believed to originate in North Korea. Undercover agents wired Horng payments in Macau in exchange for fake bills at a rate of thirty cents for each phony dollar, smuggled in large bolts of fabric and boxes of toys.
When an F.B.I. agent named Jack Garcia posed as a representative of Colombian FARC guerrillas and asked for weapons, Horng sent him a catalogue, and Garcia ordered anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers, submachine guns, and AK-47s. To lure Horng and others to the United States for arrest, the agency staged a mock wedding for a male and a female agent involved in the sting. Horng and other guests received elegant invitations to a celebration aboard a yacht moored off Cape May, New Jersey.
“I was the best man,” Garcia, who is now retired, told me. “We picked them up for the bachelor party and drove them straight to the F.B.I. office.” Fifty-nine people were arrested. (Horng pleaded guilty and is serving three and a half to four years.) Based on that case and on other information, the Treasury Department blacklisted Banco Delta Asia, in Macau, for participating in money laundering. The bank denied the claim, but it has been barred from access to the U.S. financial system.