Top Ten Most Smartest Criminals in World’s History
Throughout the annals of human history, there emerges a tantalizing tapestry of criminals who possess an extraordinary flair for intelligence and cunning. We find ourselves fascinated by the audacious exploits of these ten masterminds as they navigate the intricate labyrinth of criminality with an almost otherworldly brilliance.
From the enigmatic minds that devised elaborate heists to those who defied the clutches of law enforcement, their stories leave us spellbound and apprehensive. With their unparalleled wit and strategic acumen, these figures etch their names into the very fabric of time, becoming legends of their dark craft.
Their tales become all-consuming, whispering secrets of elusive escapes and meticulously crafted schemes, forever weaving their legacy into the grand tapestry of human ingenuity and its dark underbelly. As we delve into their tales of brilliance and intrigue, we find ourselves drawn to the shadowy empire of true crime, where the boundary between fascination and apprehension dissolves into a captivating and chilling dance.
1. Emmanuel Nwude
Emmanuel Nwude, a former Director of Union Bank of Nigeria, orchestrated a cunning tale of deceit that ensnared Mr. Nelson Sakaguchi, a Director at Brazil’s Banco Noroeste. Pretending to be Paul Ogwuma, the esteemed Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Nwude lured Sakaguchi into a web of deception, promising a lucrative airport project in Abuja for a staggering $242 million.
The audacious scheme began in 1995, as Emmanuel Nwude skillfully played his role, leading Sakaguchi to believe in the grand illusion. Seduced by the promise of a generous 10 million commission, Sakaguchi fell victim to Nwude‘s calculated ploy. However, the elaborate facade unravelled three years later in 1998, sending shockwaves through the financial world.
Emmanuel Nwude‘s tale stands as a stark reminder of the lengths some will go to deceive and manipulate for personal gain, leaving a lingering mark on the history of financial deception.
Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava, renowned as the notorious Natwarlal, started his journey as a lawyer but soon mastered the art of deception, earning the title of India’s great con man. With astonishing ease, he swindled esteemed industrialists and cunningly sold off priceless monuments of India.
Natwarlal‘s audacious feats include selling the illustrious Taj Mahal not once but thrice, leaving even the most cautious to fall prey to his tricks. Astonishingly, he even managed to dupe unsuspecting foreigners by posing as a government official, selling the Taj Mahal and even the prestigious Parliament House of India, along with its entire sitting members, numbering 545.
Despite his many arrests, a staggering total of nine times, Natwarlal proved to be an elusive escape artist, slipping through the clutches of the law repeatedly. His cunning and ability to deceive were unparalleled, and he even dared to fake his own death on two separate occasions, leaving authorities baffled.
3. Mark Defriest
Mark Defriest, the prodigious maestro of jailbreak, stands unparalleled in history! Just a mere 19 years old when imprisoned, he swiftly morphed into an enigmatic spectre, haunting the essence of prison guards across the United States. A tempestuous journey of 35 years unfolded, marred by torment from zealous guards and the relentless taunts of fellow inmates.
In defiance of the confinements that sought to restrain him, Mark Defriest orchestrated a staggering 13 escapes, remarkably succeeding on 7 daring occasions. The astonishing feat is even more implausible because his initial sentence amounted to four years. But with each triumphant escape, the tendrils of justice tightened, and his ultimate punishment escalated to an astounding 105 years.
4. Victor Lustig
Victor Lustig, a name synonymous with audacious deception, orchestrated the grandest scam in the annals of world history by selling the Eiffel Tower not once but twice! The enigmatic tale of this charming con man has inspired the pages of the book “Handsome Devil,” immortalizing his flamboyant exploits.
In 1925, nestled within the confines of his opulent Parisian hotel room, Victor Lustig serendipitously stumbled upon a newspaper article chronicling the financial woes plaguing the iconic Eiffel Tower’s maintenance. An ingenious idea struck like lightning – why not SELL the monumental structure to unsuspecting prey? The audacity was breathtaking, and he ventured into the realm of deception with mesmerizing bravado.
Victor Lustig‘s magnetic charisma and daring schemes earned him a reputation as the most flamboyant con man of his time. Armed with wit and charm, he ensnared his victims in a dance of deception, effortlessly casting illusions of wealth and grandeur.
5. Frank Abagnale
Frank William Abagnale Jr., a master of deception, embarked on a thrilling criminal journey that spanned the transformative years between adolescence and young adulthood, from the tender age of 16 to 21. He skillfully fabricated a driver’s license with remarkable ingenuity, cunningly adding a decade to his age, a craft that marked the beginning of his audacious escapades.
Playing the chameleon, Frank Abagnale entered the labyrinth of false identities, artfully establishing multiple bank accounts under different names. But his audacious decision to take to the skies as a pilot truly set his exploits soaring to new heights. With precision and finesse, he forged not just a pilot’s license but also an employee ID, a brilliant ruse to elude suspicion while effortlessly cashing his intricate web of forged checks.
Across 26 countries, Frank Abagnale roamed as a pilot, trailing a mesmerizing path of deception, tallying a staggering $2.5 million in counterfeit checks. However, as life often unfolds in unpredictable twists, Frank’s high-flying adventure eventually landed him in Georgia, where he donned the guise of a paediatrician. But fate had different plans, and a near-fatal incident involving an innocent child caused him to reconsider his hazardous path.
Ever the master of reinvention, Frank Abagnale artfully assumed the mantle of a lawyer, confidently claiming to hail from the prestigious Harvard University. His legal career was an elaborate fabrication, woven with threads of deceit, which drew the attention of law enforcement. The artful con man’s remarkable run abruptly stopped in 1969, with not one but twelve countries seeking his extradition.
Even behind bars, Frank Abagnale‘s extraordinary charisma did not wane, as he assumed yet another identity, posing as an undercover inspector, cleverly securing special treatment within prison walls. Frank‘s captivating tale of intrigue and cunning inspired the creation of the movie Catch Me If You Can, an enduring testament to the prodigious talents of this enigmatic and elusive individual.
6. El Chapo
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, infamously known as El Chapo, proved to be a cunning escape artist, not just once but twice, defying the confines of highly secured prisons. Initially apprehended in 1993 on charges of murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking, he found himself incarcerated within the walls of a Mexican jail, facing a lengthy sentence of 20 years.
However, as the Cartel’s coffers overflowed with ill-gotten wealth, El Chapo saw an opportunity to regain his freedom. His ingenious plan involved greasing the palms of prison officers with a staggering sum of 2.5 million, paving the way for his daring escape on January 19, 2001. Yet, his taste of liberty was short-lived, as authorities apprehended him again on February 22, swiftly returning him to captivity.
This time, the authorities ensured he was confined to an isolated and unforgiving prison, stripped of any luxuries he might have previously enjoyed. But El Chapo‘s mind remained tenacious and resourceful, never lacking ambition and audacity.
In an audacious bid to break free, his cohorts acquired a plot of land approximately 0.7 miles from the prison’s walls, meticulously constructing an underground tunnel that would lead directly to El Chapo‘s bath area. As the clock struck 9 pm on July 11, 2015, the audacious escape unfolded before the eyes of astonished onlookers, with El Chapo boldly making his way towards the seemingly innocuous bath area, only to vanish into the clandestine depths of the tunnel.
7. Pablo Escobar
Born in 1949 in Antioquia, Colombia, Pablo Escobar came into the world as the son of a School Teacher mother and a Farmer father. He exuded an ambitious spirit from an early age, boldly proclaiming to his friends that he would attain millionaire status by age 22.
As the decades passed, his audacious dreams transformed into a reality that would captivate and terrify the world. By the 1980s, Pablo Escobar‘s iron grip extended over a staggering 80% of the cocaine trade destined for the United States. The might of his cartel facilitated the movement of an astonishing 70 to 80 tons of cocaine into the country each month, reaping untold profits.
Indeed, the height of his reign was nothing short of astonishing, as he amassed a staggering fortune of approximately $420 million per week. To manage his colossal wealth, Pablo Escobar‘s eccentricity manifested in unique ways, spending roughly $2,500 each month on rubber bands to contain the abundance of cash he acquired.
His ascent to unprecedented financial heights was further validated when, from 1987 until 1993, he firmly secured a coveted spot on the illustrious Forbes list of international billionaires. In 1989, Pablo Escobar‘s name soared to even greater heights as he ranked seventh among the world’s wealthiest individuals.
When Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas found himself ensnared in the clutches of the law, it marked the culmination of a joint effort by the United States FBI under the guise of Fox Hunt 2. He was apprehended as a central figure in orchestrating the infamous Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams alongside eleven other Nigerian accomplices.
Unravelling the intricate web of cyber-fraud, Hushpuppi‘s modus operandi involved penetrating corporate emails and artfully crafting deceptive messages to unsuspecting clients. These cleverly engineered communiqués would reroute financial transfers and stealthily siphon precious bank details.
The impact of Hushpuppi’s deceitful schemes was colossal, with almost two million individuals falling victim to his web of deception. When authorities seized his assets, they were astonished to discover an astounding $40 million in cash, proving the scale of his ill-gotten gains.
Using the modern tools of social media to their advantage, law enforcement relied on Hushpuppi‘s Instagram, and Snapchat accounts to trace his movements, pinpoint his whereabouts, and painstakingly compile the evidence needed to bring him to justice.
As the puzzle pieces fell into place, the breadth of Hushpuppi‘s fraudulent endeavors came to light, revealing that his victims had been robbed of an astronomical sum exceeding $24 million.
9. D. B. Cooper
“D. B. Cooper” is the enigmatic moniker bestowed upon a mysterious figure who etched his name into the annals of crime by commandeering a Boeing 727 during a mid-air flight near Seattle in 1971. An aura of intrigue surrounded his daring heist, which saw him abscond with a hefty $200,000 in ransom money before vanishing into the skies, leaving an indelible mark on history.
Despite exhaustive investigations and relentless searches, the true identity of this audacious hijacker has remained shrouded in darkness, an enigma that has confounded law enforcement and fascinated the public for decades. D. B. Cooper‘s daring escape by parachute into the unknown elevated him to near-mythical status, leaving a trail of unanswered questions and captivating conspiracy theories in his wake.
10. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski
Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber, possessed an astounding IQ of 167, surpassing even the intellect of stars such as Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. A former Harvard student, he graduated with a commendable 3.12 GPA, reflecting his above-average academic prowess.
During his 20s, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski taught at esteemed institutions like the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley, showcasing his intellectual prowess and potential for greatness. However, his path turned sinister when he embarked on a reign of terror that shook the nation.
Between 1978 and 1995, he orchestrated a series of bombings targeting educational institutions, business executives, and airports, spreading fear and chaos without leaving a trace. Despite relentless efforts, law enforcement couldn’t apprehend him until 1996, after the FBI initiated an unprecedented and expensive investigation.
In 1995, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski proposed a chilling deal, promising to halt his attacks if his manifesto, titled Industrial Society and Its Future, was published by a prominent publication. In a controversial move, the Washington Post and The New York Times complied, printing his 35,000-word essay, granting him a twisted form of recognition. This dark chapter in history is a haunting reminder of the destructive potential hidden within even the most brilliant minds.
- Charles Ponzi – Italian Con Artist
- John Dillinger – American Gangster & Bank Robber
- Hamza Bendelladj – Algerian hacker
- Freeway Ricky Ross – American Author & Drug Trafficker
- Bernie Madoff – American financier & Ponzi Schemer
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