WASHINGTON, December 20. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in the United States got Washington to return the personal belongings of Viktor Bout, who was recently released from US incarceration as part of a prisoner swap deal, head of the embassy’s consular section Nadezhda Shumova told TASS.
"Viktor Bout’s personal belongings were delivered to the embassy this morning (on December 19 - TASS). We will soon send it all to Viktor," the diplomat said, adding: "[Bout’s] money has not been returned to us yet."
The head of the Russian embassy’s section earlier told TASS that the American authorities had failed to return $3,700 from Bout’s prison account, as well as about 300 kilograms of his personal belongings, mostly books, diaries and the pictures that he had painted behind bars. The money had been transferred to Bout by his family members so that he could buy food while in prison and make phone calls home.
According to Shumova, Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was exchanged for US national Trevor Reed in April, also did not get his personal belongings back after being released from US incarceration.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on December 8 that Bout had been exchanged for US basketball player Brittney Griner. Bout was arrested in Thailand’s capital of Bangkok in 2008 following a sting by US federal agents. The Russian was charged with conspiracy to deliver weapons to a rebel group called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States. In April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined $15 mln. Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for attempting to smuggle hashish oil into Russia and eventually sentenced to nine years in prison.