Source: Iran Times
Iranian-Canadian gangster Omid Tahvili has made the Forbes magazine list of the "World's 10 Most Wanted."
Tahvili, 37, is the kingpin of a Persian organized crime family in Canada connected to various other global criminal groups. Known as Nino, Tahvili escaped the maximum-security prison in British Columbia November 15, 2007, after bribing a guard with the promise of $50,000.
Tahvili was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of kidnaping, sexual assault, possession of an imitation firearm, assault causing bodily harm, uttering a threat and proceeds-of-crime charges.
The court found Tahvili was the "directing mind" of a criminal organization based in Canada. But he is also facing charges in the United States of running a $3-million telemarketing scam that victimized seniors. (See the August 22 issue of Iran Times, page five.)
Last month, Tahvili called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and offered to surrender if police promised he wouldn't be extradited to the United States. Tahvili said he was in Toronto and caller ID showed he was calling from a Toronto number, but police remain skeptical and suspect he fled to Iran, which does not have an extradition treaty with Canada.
The other criminals on the Forbes list are: Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden at number one, Mexico's most powerful drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman, Russian mobster Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, India's most wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Matteo Messina Denaro-believed to be taking over the Italian mafia, Felicien Kabuga-accused of being the driving force behind the Rwandan genocide, Columbian rebel leader Pedro Antonio Marin, head of the Lord's Resistance Army guerrilla group in Uganda Joseph Kony and James "Whitey" Bugler-leader of the Winter Hill Gang based in Boston that controlled illicit drug trade and extortion rackets.
Various law enforcement agencies have their own most wanted lists that usually focus on crimes that took place in their local or national jurisdictions. The FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list, created in 1950, is the most famous of its kind.
Forbes consulted with law enforcement agencies to identify these 10 criminals. With the exception of Osama Bin Laden, Forbes said, there is little consensus over who should be included in the list. Everyone on the Forbes list has been indicted or charged and accused of an extensive history of serous crimes.
"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," said Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble after taking a look at the Forbes list.
About Iran Times: The Iran Times is an independent newspaper with no affiliation with any political party or faction The Iran Times corporation was founded in Washington D.C. in 1970, in accordance with U.S. federal and local regulations: www.iran-times.com
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