‘The Best Guy To Deliver WMDs’ Viktor Bout, Who Biden Wants To Release To Russia In Prisoner Swap, Based His Air Cargo Operations At Gulftainer Co-Owner’s Shadowy Sharjah, UAE Airport


By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | July 30, 2022

Gulftainer co-owner Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, provided Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the ‘Merchant of Death,’ with a shadowy weapons smuggling air base at the Sharjah Airport. The Sharjah Airport is controlled by the powerful Emir.

Bout used aircraft based at the Sharjah Airport to smuggle arms for U.S. adversaries and terrorists such as the Taliban. Bout trafficked weapons to some of the world’s most dangerous hot spots, including Mogadishu, Somalia, site of the infamous ‘Black Hawk Down’ Battle of Mogadishu.

“Gulftainer is owned by two shareholders, HH [His Highness] Sheikh Sultan Al Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and Mr. Hamid Dhia Jafar,” according to World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) documents first uncovered in 2016 by The American Report.

The Pentagon placed Hamid Dhia Jafar’s brother and business partner, Iraqi nuclear physicist Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar, on U.S. Central Command’s Operation Iraqi Freedom Blacklist of Saddam Hussein regime senior officials wanted for capture or kill.

Gulftainer co-owners Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi (back row, fourth from left) and Hamid Dhia Jafar (back row, fifth from left). Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi controls the Sharjah Airport, previously the air base of Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, ‘The Merchant of Death.”

Jan Kopen wrote at OldJets.net, “Sharjah, March 1997”:

After reading the book ‘Merchant of Death’ about the mysterious life of entrepreneur and gun-runner Victor Bout, I decided to share my pics, taken at Sharjah and Ras-al-Kamaj, during a short trip in March 1997, with you…

…In 1995 Sharjah Airport also became a free-tax zone and soon became known for its very lax oversight, corruption and close ties to Islamist radicals. Keep in-mind; the Taliban regime was then recognized by only 3 countries in the world, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

So, Sharjah was the main shopping center for Russian vacationers, but also for the Taliban. The last one, could buy arms, satellite phones, generators etc… Next to this the well-known gun-runner Victor Bout serviced Ariana Afghan Airways aircraft (the airline was controlled by the Taliban mullahs) in the open and sold them cargo aircraft to bring arms, material and more fighters in and drugs and operatives out…

…The emirate Sharjah allowed its airport to be used by many dubious operators like Viktor Bout’s flagship firm Air Cess. In Sharjah, aircraft could be de-registered overnight and registered somewhere else the next day. Air Cess, Air Pass, Santa Cruz Imperial Airlines, Bukavu Aviation, Centrafrican Airlines, etc. aircraft could be seen in all the major war-zones. Sharjah was also the main shopping center for the Afghan Taliban regime, it could buy arms, satellite phones to generators and Bout serviced Ariana Afghan Airways (the airline was controlled by the Taliban mullahs) aircraft there in the open. Bout also sold them cargo aircraft to bring arms, material and more fighters in and drugs and operatives out.

This aircraft and the shady airlines it worked for have been linked to the notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout. According to researchers it was previously EL-AKQ, 3D-SBQ and 3C-KKL. Under the Kazakh registration UN-75005 its operators were named as Air Cess, ‘Air Bas’, ‘Linee Aerienne Tchad’ in late 2003 and then Irbis Air Company. Irbis became Mega Airlines and this machine became UP-I1801. It was flying between Djibouti and Somalia in the early 2000’s. She seems presently stored at Berbera, Somalia.​

The official website homepage of the Sharjah Airport features a link at the bottom of the page to Gulftainer co-owner Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammed Al Qasimi:

Airport Industry News reported in an October 16, 2020 article titled “Sharjah Airport Authority Opens the East Expansion Project”:

Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, His Excellency Ali Salim Al Midfa:

“The completion of the East Expansion project represents a qualitative addition within the comprehensive expansion plan to enhance the position of the Emirate of Sharjah on the global travel map. We are pleased to continue the drive for excellence in the aviation sector through a clear vision and with the continued support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. With determination will continue to provide facilities and services that guarantee the comfort and satisfaction of travellers and customers.

Viktor Bout is a known Russian intelligence agent.

Gulftainer entered into a joint venture with ROSTEC ROSOBORONEXPORT, exporter of Russia’s Club-K Container Missile System.

We previously reported at The American Report:

Al-Qasimi, like [Hamid Dhia Jafar’s son] Badr Jafar, has a wealth of interesting friends. Al-Qasimi and Badr Jafar worked with Kevin Spacey and Spacey’s foundation to establish a non-profit Middle-Eastern theater academy that trains young actors aged 25 and under. Spacey spent time coaching the young actors who performed a play in an intimate gathering before an audience that included Gulftainer co-owner Muhammad Al-Qasimi.

The Kevin Spacey Foundation shut down its UK operations in 2018 “in the wake of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Spacey,” Variety reported.


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