11 Biggest Illegal International Arms Dealers of All Time

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If you’re interested in illegal arms trade around the world, then our list of 11 biggest illegal international arms dealers of all time will prove to be an engrossing read!




What is an arms dealer? That’s “a person or business that sells weapons and other military equipment,” and for you, we have 11 of those. Hopefully, you didn’t miss the word “illegal” in our title. Being a legal arms dealer is a completely different thing. You would probably be surprised to find out which country is the largest exporter of arms in the world. Somewhat surprisingly, that would be the USA. This country owns 33% of the total international arms trade. For someone who has armies resolving conflicts on so many continents, we feel a little surprised they’re the biggest supplier of firearms and have so many countries as their (satisfied) customers. Right behind the US, there’s their old rival, Russia, with 25%, while the Republic of China has mere 5% in the overall export. On the other side, the biggest official importers of weapons are India, Saudi Arabia, China and, UAE. However, this is all official information on legal arms dealer jobs. Let’s now talk about some illegal arms trade facts.

11 Biggest Illegal International Arms Dealers of All Time

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What everyone agrees on is that arms trafficking is one lucrative business. Illicit gun trafficking value is $1 billion per year. However, these are small arms and light weapons. Some of the arms dealers we have chosen have trafficked missiles as well, so their profits must’ve been much higher. Not to mention aircraft, tanks, and other vehicles. Unfortunately, finding the illegal international arms dealer salary is a difficult task since they don’t really display their information to the IRS if you know what we mean. Also, buyers needn’t pay cash. Diamonds are more than welcome means of payment which doesn’t show on the bank account, and their size is conveniently small. As you can see, this kind of job offers you lots of options to consider. If you’re looking for a career in crime, check our list of most profitable crimes to commit, or see how you would rate at 10 Biggest Illegal Industries and Black Markets in the World.



In order to make an international arms dealers database of our own, we searched the web for the most outrageous cases and notorious names at the Daily Mail, Business Pundit, Vice, and The Guardian. We’ve collected 12 names, and needed to downsize the number to 11. We must admit that was tricky. These business people kept their net worth well hidden, and some of them passed away. Collecting data about their real average salaries is impossible, isn’t it? Not to mention, the alive ones claim they have nothing to do with illegal trading. Yet, here and there cases of corruption and smuggling emerge to the surface. Therefore, we read their biographies and looked for the most impressive buyers and cases. For instance, we ruled out that selling North Korean missiles was a much more serious business than selling AK-47 and loads of ammunition, no matter how many millions of dollars were involved. After all, we’re talking about the biggest arms dealers here.

Now let’s have a look which arms dealers have made their mark and which ones are still making history in 11 biggest illegal international arms dealers of all time.


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