After the prisoner swap between the United States and Russia involving Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout last year, Bout, often referred to as “The Merchant of Death,” has disclosed some details about the exchange.
In an interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 56-year-old Bout revealed that he was instructed to pack his belongings because he was going home.
Their stories became strangely intertwined between two superpowers, with Bout expressing the belief that they were both mere pawns in a harrowing scenario. He mentioned that he wished Griner good luck before they boarded their respective planes.
This exchange occurred at the close of 2022, with Griner having served several months of her sentence and Bout already enduring a decade behind bars.
Bout’s arrest occurred in 2010 after a sting operation in Thailand, and he was subsequently extradited to the United States, where he received a 25-year prison sentence for conspiracy.
On the other hand, Griner was arrested in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine due to the discovery of a marijuana pen in her possession at the airport, resulting in a similar duration of incarceration.
Following the exchange, Griner returned to the basketball court briefly before taking an extended leave of absence due to mental health concerns.