The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal.
By Evan Ratliff
Published in January 2019
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
This book is a short account of the life and misadventures of Paul Le Roux.
Paul Le Roux was a white Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) who emigrated to the Philippines. There, he established an online prescription drug pharmacy. He hired Indian doctors to write prescriptions and the website's clients could get the prescription painkillers shipped to their homes. The drug pharmacy was gray market - neither strictly legal or illegal.
This online pharmacy made him very wealthy. However, he then started dipping into all sorts of other activity, this time strictly illegal - arms dealing, assassinations, political corruption, drug smuggling, illegal mining, illegal logging, etc… He was a very bad guy, engaging in murderous political feuds, and deranged sexual escapades.
Eventually, he was arrested while on a business trip in Liberia and extradited into the custody of the US Drug Enforcement Agency. There, he ratted out all of his minions, and escaped justice. They let Paul Leroux go so that relatively good meaning people could get unjust criminal terms.
The main moral of the story is that the government is far more dangerous, unjust, vicious, and evil than even the worst organized crime groups.
As an interesting side note, some people think he may have been Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
The book’s writing style is very engaging. It was a real page turner. I listened to the audiobook with my wife Katarina, and we couldn’t stop until the very end.
If you are looking for a good crime thriller, albeit one set in the real world, I recommend it highly.
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