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article imageForbes Releases Top 10 List Of Infamous Criminals

By Saikat Basu     Apr 28, 2008 in World
In a departure from the norm, has released a list of the Top 10 criminal master players in the world. The list highlights that today's crime and criminal is no longer endemic in scope.
Forbes is of course quite well known for its annual lists. But this is the first time it has come out with a list of a totally different kind. The 'Top 10' list of the infamous. It's difficult to say whether the members of this 'elite' list, even if their perverse ego allows, would want to be on it. The list though brings out one facet of today's world. Human enterprise is truly pan-global in presence now. Whether it is business or crime, the world is the new stage. Crime is as global in its ambition and scope as any corporate venture. Hiding behind numerous illicit business and identities, operating from sheltered havens, criminal masterminds of today have taken the same advantages of digital reach and instant mobility as is available to the more legitimate entity. This single innovation in crime has made all the selected ten, the focus of investigative operations around the world. Coupled with the wealth generated by their activities, their international renown has taken them into this unique Forbes list. This list is also a reflection on how difficult it is to catch a criminal who knows how to buck the system with knowledge and money. Here is the roll call of dishonor.
No prizes for guessing who is at No. 1 on the list. Osama Bin Laden was perhaps the most unanimous choice for the top slot. The world's most wanted fugitive needs no introduction. Pursued by the U.S and rest of the world, he is wanted dead or alive. A vowed opponent of the western civilization he was a multi-millionaire even before he founded Al-Qaeda, being a member of the wealthy bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. So far he has managed to evade perhaps the largest manhunt ever launched for a single man. He has a $25 million reward on his head.
Joaquin Guzman comes in at No.2. He is the undisputed head of a Mexican drug trafficking cartel, Sinaloa. This drug kingpin specializes in smuggling in drug shipments of cocaine into the U.S. With a $5 million on his head, so far he has evaded capture through a combination of cunningness and straight bribery. A true successor to Pablo Escobar.
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov is one of the figureheads of Russian organized crime. He is a sportsman of Uzbek origin, though now has gained notoriety for drug distribution, illegal arms sales and trafficking in stolen vehicles. He has apparently not forgotten his sporting antecedents, as he has been frequently involved in fixing everything from beauty pageants to Olympic events. In 2002, the U.S. government indicted him for bribing Olympic figure skating judges to favor the French team, robbing Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of gold medals in the pair’s competition. He was arrested in Italy but freed by Italian authorities.
Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar ironically is the son of a policeman. He now heads the criminal organization called as D-Company. The U.S sees him as a global terrorist especially for his role in the 1993 Bombay Blasts that killed 257 people, and also for his links with Al-Qaeda. His area of operations includes drug trafficking, counterfeiting, weapons smuggling and murder.
Matteo Messina Denaro
known rather cinematically as 'Diabolic' is a member of the most cinematically credited Cosa Nostra, the Italian mafia. A playboy, he is known to fancy fast cars and a faster lifestyle. Behind the handsome face is the ticking brain of a cold blooded man said to be the new leader of the mafia.
The other names in the list include Felicien Kabuga, the most wanted man in Africa. The Rwandan national is wanted for crimes against humanity and genocide, in connection with the massacre of over 800,000 Rwanda men, woman and children in 100 days of terror in 1994. Pedro Antonio Marin, the Columbian drug lord with a $5 million U.S bounty on his head follows the African. Joseph Kony, the head of a Ugandan guerrilla group has a reputation for unmatched brutality, often forcing children to murder their own parents for initiation into his group. He is waging a 'theocratic' struggle in the 'spirit' of the Bible and Ten Commandments. He is wanted for crimes against humanity and war crimes. James "Whitey" Bulger heads the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish American crime family based in Boston that controlled illicit drug trade and extortion rackets in South Boston. He has consistently avoided capture for the whole duration of the last decade. Omit Tahvili, a Persian criminal mastermind, is the target of a world wide manhunt for his alleged operation of a fraudulent telemarketing business that scammed $3 million from elderly American victims. Tahvili and his co-conspirators allegedly informed the victims that they had either won or had a very good chance of winning a lottery, but that they would have to pay an advance fee in order to obtain the winnings. None of the victims received any of the promised winnings.
Forbes consulted with international police agencies to narrow down on the Top 10. Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble after taking a look at the list said,
" What they all have in common is that whether their crimes have occurred principally at the national or international level, their crimes have been so significant that they should be pursued globally. With regard to the world's most wanted criminals, it is always easy to see the tremendous local impact that their crimes have had."
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