The most wanted criminals in the world are the persons you definitely don’t ever want to deal with at any point in your life. They are the most notorious and elusive criminals on earth and have evaded capture for years.
Here’s a list of the top 10 most wanted criminals in the world, which will most likely stay fixed for quite awhile.
1. Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri is the current leader of al-Qaeda, a multi-national militant organization formerly headed by Osama bin Laden. He was named the leader of al-Qaeda shortly after bin Laden was assassinated in 2011. Before that, he was the operational and strategic commander and was the top lieutenant to bin Laden in the organization.
An Egyptian, al-Zawahiri had a direct hand in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania which killed hundreds of people. In 2008, the Pakistan Army claimed that they almost captured al-Zawahiri in northwest Pakistan.
In 2012, al-Zawahiri made headlines when he called on Muslims to kidnap Western tourists visiting Muslim countries. He remains at large and is one the most wanted criminals in the world. The US Department of State is offering $25 million for any information about the location of the current al-Qaeda leader.
2. Dawood Ibrahim
Dawood Ibrahim is the most wanted man in India. He is a crime lord and leads the Indian organized crime syndicate D-Company. He founded the organization in the 1970s and has been a wanted man since the 1980s, though he wasn’t branded a global threat until 2003.
Ibrahim is currently living in Pakistan, though the Pakistani government has denied that he is in the country. He is widely believed to be the man behind the 1993 Bombay bombings, which involved a series of 12 bomb explosions in Mumbai, India. The attacks killed 257 people and injured 717 others.
Ibrahim and D-Company mostly operate in India, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. Ibrahim is wanted for a number of charges, which includes murder, targeted killing, and drug trafficking. Like Ayman al-Zawahiri, he has a $25 million bounty on his head.
3. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the leader of the militant terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). I think it’s safe to assume that by now you’re already familiar with the organization, which has orchestrated a series of terror attacks in European cities the last two years.
Al-Baghdadi was a part of al-Qaeda from 2006-2013. Apart from crimes related to terrorism, he has been accused of kidnapping, enslaving, and raping American human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller.
It is believed that al-Baghdadi, the top target in the war against ISIS, is currently hiding in Raqqa, Syria, though there have been numerous conflicting reports of his arrest or death the last two years. Nevertheless, al-Baghdadi has a huge bounty on his head, with the US Department of State offering $25 million, up from the original $10 million, for any information which may lead to his capture or death.
4. Semion Mogilevich
Semion Mogilevich is believed to be the boss of bosses of Russian Mafia syndicates around the world. He commands a huge criminal organization involved in weapons trafficking, drug trafficking, contract murders, prostitution, fraud, and possibly even nuclear materials trafficking.
Mogilevich is considered the most dangerous mobster in the world and allegedly has powerful political connections everywhere in Russia. In 2006, former Russian secret service member Alexander Litvinenko alleged that Mogilevich has a “good relationship” with current Russian president Vladimir Putin. Litvinenko was assassinated via radiation poisoning shortly after making that claim.
Nicknamed “Don Semyon” and “The Brainy Don,” Mogilevich lives freely in Russia. He was arrested in 2008 in Moscow for tax evasion but was released the following year. He was added to the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted list in 2009 but was removed in 2015, mainly because the US and Russia don’t have an extradition treaty, which basically makes him untouchable to the FBI.
5. Matteo Messina Denaro
Matteo Messina Denaro is a Sicilian Mafia boss, now considered the boss of bosses in the infamous criminal organization after the deaths of Bernardo Provenzano and Salvatore Riina and the 2007 arrest of Salvatore Lo Piccolo. He has proven to be one of the most elusive targets for the Italian police, successfully evading arrest a number of times in the past.
Nicknamed “Diabolik,” Denaro stands out because of his lifestyle and outgoing nature, which is in contrast with other Mafia bosses who keep conservative family values close to heart. Denaro is a notorious womanizer, drives expensive Porsche cars, wears luxurious Rolex watches, and prefers high-end products from Ray-Ban, Giorgio Armani, and Versace. And apparently, he’s big on video games.
Denaro has been involved in extortion and illegal drug trade, the latter of which has caused the FBI to keep a close eye on the Mafia boss. In 1993, Denaro played a big role in a series of bomb attacks orchestrated by several Mafia bosses in Italy. The attacks killed 10 people and injured 93 others. Denaro has not been seen since the bomb attacks.
6. Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov
Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov is a Russian businessman suspected of being involved in organized crime. He is believed to be nicknamed “Taiwanchik” because of his noticeable Asian facial features. He has been accused of numerous crimes in the past, which includes smuggling, fixing competition events, committing fraud, and running an illegal gambling ring.
Tokhtakhunov is perhaps most infamous for being accused of bribing ice skating judges in the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was subsequently arrested by Italian authorities at the request of the US but was later freed before he was extradited.
He is a former amateur football player, which may explain his involvement in sporting events and for being reportedly close to several Russian professional tennis players. Of course, none of the athletes have openly admitted to being closely associated with Tokhtakhunov. Like Semion Mogilevich, Tokhtakhunov lives openly in Russia and is pretty much untouchable to US law enforcement authorities.
7. Felicien Kabuga
Felicien Kabuga is a Rwandan businessman and millionaire. He is the most wanted man in Africa for his direct involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, one of the most despicable acts in human history. Kabuga got the majority of his fortune through tea farms in Rwanda, which he used to fund the Rwandan Genocide.
Kabuga allegedly bankrolled Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines, the Rwandan radio station which played a huge role in inciting violence and kicking off the Rwandan Genocide. Not only that, he also supplied the weapons to the Hutus, importing a total of 500,000 machetes. About 500,000-1,000,000 Rwandans were killed in the infamous genocide, heavily crippling the country economy.
For his role in the genocide, Kabuga was slapped with numerous charges by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, including conspiracy to commit genocide and complicity in genocide. Kabuga, however, has remained elusive ever since his escape after the Rwandan Genocide was ended by the Rwandan Patriotic Front. He is believed to be living and running businesses in Kenya.
8. Omid Tahvili
Born in Tehran, Iran, Omid Tahvili is the kingpin of an organized crime family in Canada. Yes, you read that right – something like that actually exists in goody two shoes Canada. He reportedly operates out of an Iranian community in Canada and is connected to other international criminal organizations.
Tahvili has been apprehended by authorities several times but has escaped fully serving his sentences through one way or another. Most infamously, he escaped from a maximum-security prison in 2007 with the help of a security guard whom he bribed with money. Tahvili remains free to this day and is considered one of the most wanted criminals in the world.
Tahvili has been convicted of kidnapping and sexual assault and has been charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, telemarketing fraud, and aiding and abetting. His telemarketing fraud ran from 1999 to 2002 with elderly US citizens being the chief victims. His operation netted him $3 million.
9. Ismael Zambada Garcia
Ismael Zambada Garcia is the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international organized crime syndicate which mainly operates from Culiacan, Sinaloa in Mexico, hence the group name. The Sinaloa Cartel is considered one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world.
Nicknamed “El Mayo,” Garcia assumed full leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel when Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was apprehended in 2016. He is the most enduring drug lord in Mexico and has been active in the drug trafficking business for years. He was the logistical coordinator of the cartel before assuming full leadership.
Garcia employs different methods for delivering drugs to the US, which includes airplanes and boats. He currently has a $5 million on his head.
10. Joseph Kony
Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a guerrilla group which has been active since 1987. He is a self-declared prophet and claims that he is fighting for the Ten Commandments. He also claims to have been possessed by spirits.
The LRA previously operated in Uganda before recently moving operations to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. Led by Kony, the LRA has been involved in mass kidnappings of children and forcing them to become sex slaves or child soldiers for his campaign.
In 2005, Kony was indicted by International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity. But he is yet to be put behind bars for all his actions. Earlier this year, the US and Uganda ended their hunt for Kony, thinking he is no longer a significant threat because his force has significantly shrunk in recent years, which may have been related to his reportedly declining health.