Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga is the most wanted man in Africa and the sixth in the world according to a list released on Friday by Forbes.com, a franchise of Forbes Magazine that usually publishes the list of the world’s richest people.
Uganda’s warlord Joseph Kony follows closely at number two in Africa and number nine in the world. He is also the poorest of the top 10 most wanted fugitives whose ill-gotten fortunes run into billions of shillings.
In the first ever listing to be done by the magazine, Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden still tops the list of the most sought international criminals, more than a decade since the international community began the largest manhunt for him.
The list include South America’s most powerful drug lord Joaquin Guzman, the face of the modern Russian mob Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, India’s most wanted man who heads an organised crime group based in Mumbai Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Matteo Messina Denaro, the Italian mafia’s playboy with a taste for Porches and Rolex watches.
Others include James “Whitey Bulger, the head of Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American family that controls illicit drug trade and extortion rackets in Boston; Omid Tahvili, kingpin of the Persian organised crime family in Canada and Pedro Antonio Marin, head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Farc, a guerrilla outfit that has waged bitter campaign against the Colombian government since 1960.
Forbes was forced to do a listing of the top wanted people in the world after it became apparent that the criminals oversee huge business empires that have enabled them to carry on with their heinous activities and evade capture.
In particular, it was driven in to doing so after the second most wanted man in the world, Mexico’s drug lord Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman made it to the list of the new billionaires in 2008, highlighting the challenge of capturing moneyed criminals.
The world’s most famous fugitive, Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the 2001 attacks in the US which killed more 3,500 people. He is also being sought for the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania which claimed more than 350 lives.
He is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, perhaps in the rugged Waziristan region.
Kabuga is accused of being the main driving force behind one of the worst genocides in history. In August 1999, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda issued a warrant of arrest for Kabuga in connection with the massacre of more than 800,000 people during the 1994 genocide.
The businessman whose fortune is estimated to run in to millions of dollars is accused of bankrolling Hutu militias that committed the murders.
Kony is the head of the Lords Resistance Army, a guerrilla group trying to establish a theocratic government in Uganda based on the Ten Commandments. Two million people are estimated to have been displaced from Northern Uganda when Kony began his struggle against the Ugandan authorities in 1987.
Forbes.com says it consulted with law enforcement agencies in the US and around the world to identify the 10. But it adds that coming up with the list was a difficult matter since every country has its own most wanted person.