Thailand to send alleged Russian arms dealer to US Wednesday

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Thailand will extradite alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to the United States on Wednesday to face terrorism charges, police said, despite strong opposition from Moscow.

Fifty Thai commandos will escort the man dubbed the "Merchant of Death" from a Bangkok prison to a US private jet waiting at the capital's Don Mueang airport, said Crime Suppression Division acting chief Supisarn Bhakdinarinath.

"I cannot say the exact time and route because it's top secret," he added.

Bout, said to have inspired the Hollywood film "Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage, has been fighting extradition since his March 2008 arrest after a Bangkok sting operation involving US agents posing as Colombian rebels.

© 2010 AFP

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