Monday, April 28, 2008

Dawood 4th 'most wanted' criminal on Forbes list

The latest Top 10 list released by Forbes features the world’s most dreaded criminals, in a major departure from the magazine’s usual practice of listing the planet’s rich and famous.

India’s very own Dawood Ibrahim has found a place in the list — at number four.

The "international most wanted" roster is headed by al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden and includes others like Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, Russian mobster Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, the man behind Rwanda genocides Felicien Kabuga and Italian mafia’s playboy Matteo Messina Denaro.

Rounding off the list are Colombian cocaine lord Pedro Antonio Marin, Ugandan guerrilla commander Joseph Kony, leader of the Winter Hill Gang in US James "Whitey" Bulger and kingpin of the Persian organised crime family in Canada Omid Tahvili., which has come up with the list, claimed to have consulted law enforcement agencies in the US and around the world to identify the top ten.

"They (listed criminals) are all accused of a long history of committing serious crimes and are considered a dangerous menace to the world," it said.

Though all of them have already featured on one or the other wanted list, ranging from their countries’ list to Interpol, the Forbes initiative appears to be a step in highlighting their extent as international criminals given "the current state of globalized crime".

Referring to the Forbes list, former CBI director U S Misra told TOI, "It will have some impact on the countries which have been harbouring such criminals for political reasons. These lists will put pressure on such countries which will have to answer their own people in due course for giving shelter to the fugitives."

Misra, a former Interpol vice-president, said details of such fugitives, including their possible hideouts in a particular country, will tell the world how the country concerned was not cooperating with Interpol by failing to deliver on the promises made to the global police body.

The Forbes list has, in fact, mentioned the possible hideouts of Dawood (in Pakistan), Osama (in Pakistan’s Waziristan region) and others — reflecting the law enforcement agencies’ assessment of the area of operations of these criminals and their shelters. The list also found support from Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble who told, "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."

He added, "With regard to the world’s most wanted criminals, it is always easy to see the tremendous local impact that their crimes have had."

Forbes said it would periodically review the list — the way it does for its lists of billionaires and others. "Forbes will periodically review the list to determine whether a replacement is warranted and will scratch off those fugitives who are put out of action," it said.

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