The Big Daddies

The men who matter when it comes to international arms trading, both legal and otherwise

Published: 02nd August 2014 02:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2014 02:21 PM   |  A+A-

Fares M Manna

1.jpgWith links to black markets in Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, Manna is one of the biggest arms dealers operating in the Middle East and conflict-hit African countries. Manna is accused of supplying arms to Al-Shabaab and various other terrorist outfits.

Adnan Khashoggi
Saudi Arabian businessman-turned-arms dealer, Khashoggi smuggled arms from United States to Iran during Iran-Contra affair between 1985 and 1987. The legendary gun-runner was dubbed the richest man in the 1980s and still plays the role of facilitator from his office-cum-residence in Monaco.

Mohammed Said Alias Atom

2.jpgPrincipal supplier of arms and ammunition for Al-Shabaab, Atom is said to be commanding a small militia in Sanaag region of Somalia. He is said to be trafficking arms and equipment from Yemen and Eritrea.

Semion Mogilevich

3.jpgUkrainian Mogilevich is called “boss of bosses”. He floated front companies to camouflage his weapons and drug trafficking network. With strong political links in Russia and Ukraine, Mogilevich runs his activities through Slovakia and Poland.

Viktor Bout

4.jpgA Russian arms dealer, Bout reportedly supplied arms and ammunition to every major conflict spot in the last 15 years. Due to his unmatched logistics network, and capability to deliver arms on demand, Bout was nicknamed as “the mailman” by African insurgent groups.

Slobodan Tesic

5.jpgThe Serbian arms dealer sold weapons and missiles worth billions of dollars to terrorists and insurgents in Liberia, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. In 2009, he sold $95 million worth of sniper rifles, anti-aircraft guns, and other arms and ammunition to Yemen Ministry of Defence, which was later sold in the grey market.

Sarkis Soghanalian
A Lebanon-born Armenian citizen, Soghanalian armed Saddam Hussein by supplying weapons worth $1.6 billion. He also trafficked huge cache of rifles, ammunition to Nicaragua, insurgent groups in Argentina, Yemen and Congo. He also ran an aviation company and reportedly air-dropped AKs and ammunition to Colombian insurgents.

Monzer al-Kassar

6.jpgThe Syrian arms dealer supplied weapons and missiles to Iraqi and Somalian warlords. Popularly known as ‘Prince of Marabella’, Kassar shot to global limelight in early 1970s when he supplied truckloads of arms and ammunition smuggled from Poland to the Yemeni government. In 1984, he was banished from UK. He operates mainly in country’s facing UN arms embargo, making huge gains.


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