Leonid Minin

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Leonid Minin
Born 1947
Ukraine
Occupation Arms dealer
Known for Arms dealing

Leonid Efimovich Minin (Ukrainian: Леонід Юхимович Мінін) (Born 14 December 1947) is an international arms trafficker. He was arrested on August 4, 2000 by Italian authorities in Cinisello Balsamo near Milan. Minin had been under surveillance since 1992 for his suspected illegal arms dealings, mostly to West African nations.[1] He was sentenced to two years in prison in Italy.

He was born in Ukraine, but moved to Israel in the 1970s. In the mid-1970s, Germany arrested him for falsifying identity documents and he was suspected of theft of art.[2] He moved to Bolivia, Switzerland, Germany, Monaco, and Italy. In the 1990s he opened a timber business registered in Zug in Switzerland as well as offices in Monrovia in Liberia and Tel Aviv in Israel.[3]

It is believed that his customers have included Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and the Revolutionary United Front militants in Sierra Leone.[3] Police found documents regarding these transactions in Minin's belongings. The arms allegedly came from Aviatrend, a Russian company owned by Valery Cherny.[2] The same Aviatrend has been involved in money laundering by Slobodan Milošević.[2]

Nicolas Cage's character in the film Lord of War is a composite of Minin and another arms smuggler Viktor Bout.

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