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A Programming Genius Arrested for Running a Multi-Million Dollar Drug Empire on the Darknet

A 46-year-old man identified as Paul Le Roux, a former computer programmer, was arrested for trafficking drugs, weapons, and gold via the dark web. He is considered to be the coordinator of one of the biggest organized criminal groups, an attribute that earned him the nickname, ‘the Jeff Bezos of international organized criminal activities.’

Apart from trafficking, Le Roux provided hitmen who could be hired to murder people. He also had professional soldiers across various continents whose services were used in attempt to overthrow current governments.

His illicit activities earned him an enormous amount of $250 million per year, which allowed him to buy lavish homes in various locations, including Hong Kong and the Philippines, and enabled him to live a luxurious life. Le Roux aimed at having an online store that sold anything people desired.

Before joining the illicit business, Le Roux grew up as an orphan originating from Zimbabwe. He later became a programmer in the 90s and used his skills to develop encryption software for various computer programs. Since then, he has divorced twice and has more than ten children born by legitimate wives, mistresses, and girlfriends in different countries.

Last year, Le Roux was arrested and presented in a New York federal court where he admitted to a series of crimes, including smuggling methamphetamine from North Korea, smuggling firearms from Indonesia, and selling missile-related technology to Iran. As a witness, he confessed to taking part in more than five killings, conspiring in a coup in Seychelles using mercenaries, and supplying weaponry to a Somalia militia comprised of 200 men. Le Roux also admitted to smuggling money, drugs, gold, weapons, and chemicals to anyone who paid for them, including warlords, rebels and criminals.

Three soldiers who were also arrested around the same time as Le Roux appeared in court and testified against him. They said he had hired them to murder a real estate agent in the Philippines because he had suspicions that she had stolen from him several times.

His current arrest came about after one of his workers, Jack, sold him off to federal agents as revenge since Le Roux had refused to buy him a $30 meal. In a testimony he gave to federal agents, he said that he felt offended and ill-treated by Le Roux since he refused to spend $30 on him, an amount he could easily afford. Jack offered to work with the CIA to plan for a trip to Liberia during which Le Roux would be arrested.

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He convinced Le Roux that the Colombian based drug cartel was interested in his products, particularly methamphetamine, and that they wanted to meet him face-to-face. In his line of business, Le Roux had learned to send his subordinates to negotiate deals, but this time he decided to go himself, fearing that he would offend the drug barons if he failed to honor their terms.

Undercover DEA federal agents posed as senior drug barons belonging to a cartel in Colombia and claimed they wanted to purchase drugs from him. After confirming he was a trafficker, Le Roux was arrested and placed under federal custody. During the arrest, Le Roux feigned death in attempt to escape, but the feds quickly discovered his trick.

He later managed to negotiate with the feds, saying he would deliver them his accomplices and other drug barons if they would grant him partial immunity and a lower sentence. Later, he led the barons to the feds without them suspecting that he was working with the U.S. government. As a result, a number of drug dealers have been arrested and convicted.

According to the agreement, Le Roux is free until the appeals of these criminals have been exhausted. He, however, remains under federal custody until further notice.

Until the time of his arrest, Le Roux had been trafficking illegal items for almost 20 years. He faces a term for between a decade to life imprisonment for all his crimes.

His case has become so pronounced that it has formed the subject of a new book entitled Hunting Le Roux by Elaine Shannon. The book narrates how the drug lord’s empire fell in his previous arrest then rose again following his release and finally how the DEA took down his empire for good.