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Friday, October 31, 2008

Richard Chichakli and Viktor Bout - From Richard's Own Web Site:

What follows is a direct quote from Richard Chichakli's web site. He is, or has been, by his own testimony, a close associate of Viktor Bout.

I will not challenge Richard's assertions in this post, but suffice it to say that:
  • I believe Richard, as far as his testimony goes, that is to say that at least the relationship he says exists or existed, perhaps more
  • His statement provides a plethora of information about Viktor Bouts operations.

I will provide the quote in its entirety, then will add coments:

-Shimron Issachar


...."Richard and Victor had professional relation on three encounters as follows:

Richard Chichakli first introduction to Victor Bout took place about 14 years ago, in August of 1995, in the state of Sharjah, one of the seven states in the United Arab Emirates. At that point of time Richard was an employee of the government of Sharjah, serving as the commercial manager of Sharjah Airport International Free Zone and Victor Bout was one of the hundreds of investors who were interested in setting up a business in that free zone.

Similar to meeting all potential customers, Richard, in his capacity as the commercial manager of the free zone met Victor and his accompanied party and received from him a copy of the business plan for the company he wanted to create in the free zone and which was an airline by the name of Aircess.

The standard plan included the usual financial details, projections, and all other related information, and Richard's duty was to assess the feasibility of the proposed business venture in meeting the objectives of the free zone. This is where and when Richard acquired the knowledge he possesses about Aircess.

Companies operating in the free zone were further required submitting periodic reports regarding their activities, and therefore updated information about Aircess was periodically available to Richard until July of 1996, when his contract ended and he returned with his family to the United States.

As the employment relation between Sharjah Free Zone and Richard ended, so were the relations between the companies operating in the free zone and Richard Chichakli.

Shortly after returning to the US from UAE in July 1996, Richard started a management consulting company while working toward receiving licensing to open a public accounting practice in the state of Texas.

About the second quarter of 1998, Victor who had moved from UAE to South Africa called Richard in Texas asking for his professional help in assessing the ability of Aircess to go public.

As a management consultant in finance and aviation, Richard accepted the job and quoted Mr. Bout a fee for the service, upon which acceptance Richard travelled to South Africa to assess the ability of Mr. Bout’s company to go public.

The job lasted for about 10 working days. In the course of doing the assessment, Richard was exposed to all details related to the structure and finance of Aircess and its related entities, and developed an understanding of the company’s operations.

In conclusion, Richard informed Mr. Bout that in his opinion the company cannot successfully initiate an initial public offering, an opinion that was equally shared by Aircess lawyers and public accountants in South Africa. That was the second encounter between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout, and during that time there were no sanctions against Victor Bout and no reasons whatsoever not to accept the assignment.

The third encounter between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout occurred about June of 2000, just upon the collapse of Victor’s business in South Africa. Victor called Richard and conveyed to him that his business was in dire financial trouble and he is not sure about what to do or where to go.

Richard advised Victor to settle and start a manufacturing business in the United States, where incentives, credit, and market are available. Victor agreed and asked Richard to start the process for business immigration for him, and so it was until Victor’s application for a US visa was rejected.

This occurrence took place in June of 2000 while Victor Bout was not under any sanctions, nor were there any publications against him or any reason to prevent transacting with him.

At the end of 2004 the United States government placed sanctions against Victor Bout, and on or after that point of time there was no business relation between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout.

See the chronicle of events".........



...."Richard and Victor had professional relation on three encounters as follows:

Richard Chichakli first introduction to Victor Bout took place about 14 years ago, in August of 1995, in the state of Sharjah, one of the seven states in the United Arab Emirates. At that point of time Richard was an employee of the government of Sharjah, serving as the commercial manager of Sharjah Airport International Free Zone and Victor Bout was one of the hundreds of investors who were interested in setting up a business in that free zone.
Similar to meeting all potential customers, Richard, in his capacity as the commercial manager of the free zone met Victor and his accompanied party and received from him a copy of the business plan for the company he wanted to create in the free zone and which was an airline by the name of Aircess.

  • As Commercial Manager o the Free zone Richard was in a position to faciliate Shipping documents and flight plans for all the cargo coming trhough the airport. While he would see these documents day to day, he was in a position to see that the paperwork was processed without question. I do not know if he did, but he was in a position to see cargos and expidite paper work.

The standard plan included the usual financial details, projections, and all other related information, and Richard's duty was to assess the feasibility of the proposed business venture in meeting the objectives of the free zone. This is where and when Richard acquired the knowledge he possesses about Aircess.
  • Richard knew the business plan of Aircess, knew where the planes would be operating, and the gartet markets. Richard is a US miltiary veteran and knew what was going on in those countries.

Companies operating in the free zone were further required submitting periodic reports regarding their activities, and therefore updated information about Aircess was periodically available to Richard until July of 1996, when his contract ended and he returned with his family to the United States.

  • While it is true that Viktor Bout is infamous for creating dummy reports, I find it hard to believe that He was not aware of the massive Arms being shipped through the airport.


As the employment relation between Sharjah Free Zone and Richard ended, so were the relations between the companies operating in the free zone and Richard Chichakli.

  • Quite possibly true

Shortly after returning to the US from UAE in July 1996, Richard started a management consulting company while working toward receiving licensing to open a public accounting practice in the state of Texas.

  • This is true, on rcpord

About the second quarter of 1998, Victor who had moved from UAE to South Africa called Richard in Texas asking for his professional help in assessing the ability of Aircess to go public.

  • Why did Viktor Bout move to South Africa? perhaps because he no longer had a "facilitator" in UAE, and business was picking up in Africa.
  • Why would Viktor trust his entire nefarious arms, drugs and diamond dealing operations to Richard?


As a management consultant in finance and aviation, Richard accepted the job and quoted Mr. Bout a fee for the service, upon which acceptance Richard travelled to South Africa to assess the ability of Mr. Bout’s company to go public.

The job lasted for about 10 working days. In the course of doing the assessment, Richard was exposed to all details related to the structure and finance of Aircess and its related entities, and developed an understanding of the company’s operations.

  • He acknowledges a deeper understanding of the financail structures of the company and concluded that it could not go puclic. Typically, this is for three possible reasons:
  • The Business itelf was not financially sound- this is possible, since the company was a shell through which money flowed, and was therefore itself financially unstable.
  • The Business was profitable, but would not stand the scruitney of regulators that would look more closely into business operations
  • The names of the keystakeholders woould not hold up to public scruitiny. For example, if Aircess has a key relationship as the primary African transit company for a hughe arms company like beltechexport in Belorus, this is a highly profitibale business relationship that makes the company alot of money. However, since neither Beltech nor Belorus wants this relationship listed in a Initial Public Offering floating around the world. it could not be listed.


In conclusion, Richard informed Mr. Bout that in his opinion the company cannot successfully initiate an initial public offering, an opinion that was equally shared by Aircess lawyers and public accountants in South Africa. That was the second encounter between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout, and during that time there were no sanctions against Victor Bout and no reasons whatsoever not to accept the assignment.

  • Therefore, Richard Chichakli would have explained to Viktor Bout that his key financail relationships could not be listed in an IPO, and recommeded that the IPO could not happen.
  • In any of these situations, Richard Chichakli would have been fully ware of what was going on, that therfore complicit ( an assessroy ) in the arms trade.

The third encounter between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout occurred about June of 2000, just upon the collapse of Victor’s business in South Africa. Victor called Richard and conveyed to him that his business was in dire financial trouble and he is not sure about what to do or where to go.

  • Viktor knew he was in trouble, that his arms business in Africa waws being exposed, and that he had to close it down.
  • Also, the wars he had fueled had accelerated to a point that some of Viktor's customers had become unlreliabile, unable to pay for their arms, dead or out of power.

Richard advised Victor to settle and start a manufacturing business in the United States, where incentives, credit, and market are available. Victor agreed and asked Richard to start the process for business immigration for him, and so it was until Victor’s application for a US visa was rejected.

  • Viktor Bout already had a relationship with some people in the US, and they did not want him living here
  • It is possible Richard was unaware of Viktor's business with the US.


This occurrence took place in June of 2000 while Victor Bout was not under any sanctions, nor were there any publications against him or any reason to prevent transacting with him.

At the end of 2004 the United States government placed sanctions against Victor Bout, and on or after that point of time there was no business relation between Richard Chichakli and Victor Bout.

  • Just before this time Richard was the point man for an Italian Journalist who was trying to find and interview the infamnous arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was in hiding. Richard Chichakli alegedly arranged the interview.
  • Besides the professional relationship, Ricahrd claims that Viktor's Family and his family wer close, and he called VIktor a "Friend and a Brother"


This account demonstrates that Richard Chichakli and Viktor Bout had a relationship, both personal and professional. I do not know if Richard Chichakli commited a crime, but since Richard claims to be a US Armky Veteran ( I have not Personally check this fact), and is a Certified Public Accountant, I find it unbelievable for him not to have known that Viktor Bout was selling arms to fuel African wars, paid for by illeaglly obtained diamonds mined by Child soldiers.

One of these things must be true:

  • Richard Chichakli is misrepresenting what he knew
  • His dear friend Viktor Bout made a fool of him

I did not contact Richard Chichkli for his comment, since I am an analyst and a commentator, and make no claims to be a journalist. However, I will print any response he cares to make.

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