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Hunting LeRoux

The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Non-member price: $44.51
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Publisher's Summary

With an introduction by four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Michael Mann.

The story of Paul LeRoux, the twisted genius entrepreneur and cold-blooded killer who brought revolutionary innovation to international crime, and the exclusive inside story of how the DEA’s elite, secretive 960 Group brought him down. 

Paul LeRoux was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa. After a first career as a pioneering cybersecurity entrepreneur, he plunged into the dark side, using his extraordinary talents to develop a disruptive new business model for transnational organized crime. Along the way, he created a mercenary force of ex-US and NATO sharpshooters to carry out contract murders for his own pleasure and profit. The criminal empire he built was Cartel 4.0, utilizing the gig economy and the tools of the digital age: encrypted mobile devices, cloud sharing, and novel money-laundering techniques. LeRoux’s businesses, cyber-linked by his own dark worldwide web, stretched from Southeast Asia across the Middle East and Africa to Brazil; they generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of arms, drugs, chemicals, bombs, missile technology, and murder. He dealt with rogue nations - Iran and North Korea - as well as the Chinese Triads, Somali pirates, Serb mafia, outlaw bikers, militants, corrupt African and Asian officials, and coup-plotters. 

Initially, LeRoux appeared as a ghost image on law enforcement and intelligence radar, an inexplicable presence in the middle of a variety of criminal endeavors. He was Netflix to Blockbuster, Spotify to Tower Records. A bold disruptor, his methods brought international crime into the age of innovation, making his operations barely detectable and LeRoux nearly invisible. But he gained the attention of a small band of bold, unorthodox DEA agents, whose brief was tracking down drug- and arms-trafficking kingpins who contributed to war and global instability. The 960 Group, an element of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, had launched some of the most complex, coordinated, and dangerous operations in the agency’s history. They used unorthodox methods and undercover informants to penetrate LeRoux’s inner circle and bring him down. 

For five years, Elaine Shannon immersed herself in LeRoux’s shadowy world. She gained exclusive access to the agents and players, including undercover operatives who looked LeRoux in the eye on a daily basis. Shannon takes us on a shocking tour of this dark frontier, going deep into the operations and the mind of a singularly visionary and frightening figure - Escobar and Victor Bout and Jeff Bezos rolled into one. 

Hunting LeRoux introduces a new breed of criminal spawned by the savage, greed-exalting underside of the age of innovation - and a new kind of true-crime story. It is a look into the future - a future that is dark. 

©2019 Elaine Shannon (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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Fascinating content poorly executed

There’s two books doing the rounds about Le roux at present. The other is by Evan Ratliff. I would recommend that work above this. In the closing credits, Shannon states this book took six years and thousands of interviews to compile. I wonder if those six years could have been better spent. Very little time is devoted to discussing how Le roux came to be in the position of power he was in when he truly dedicated himself to criminal misdeeds. There’s a lot to be learnt about Le roux and his criminal empire from the formation of Rx limited. There is even more to be learnt about Le roux from his early days of tech work. There’s a pivotal moment in Le rouxs life in his early tech days where he decides to stop being screwed over and start becoming a powerful figure. None of this is present in this book which is really disappointing because it is very informative in the process of Le rouxs evolution to a criminal mastermind. Perhaps I missed the point of this book but this is important information. Had I not read Ratliff’s book I would not have known it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-03-2019

Amazing story

Amazing story about the audacity of someone’s willingness to commit crimes, and after getting caught having no contrition. Would give five stars, but the seemed rushed toward the end of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-03-2019

This book was very interesting

i liked this book was interesting to read about a international criminal it took me a few chapters to get into it but really enjoyed it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-03-2019

Gonna make a great movie

The book was pretty good and the story is hard to believe. The story done by Michael Mann will be amazing as a movie. I thought the book was great. Only problem I had was that It was a little hard to keep track of what is happening listening to this, because there was so much going on. But i just would go back and listen again. MAKE THE MOVIE SOON.

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  • Jaddie Dodd
  • 24-02-2019

Seismic Story

This book is a marvel of investigative journalism exposing an underground network of drugs and weapons with the convenience of an Amazon-like shopping experience.

This book raised my awareness of the instability of this world we live in.

I've given this book two complete listens.

It's heavy. It's seismic. It's unbelievable, but true.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Philo
  • 12-03-2019

Has it all: movie-paced AND real AND educational

What's your fancy? Cops and robbers (soldiers and merc killers too) updated into global-dark web environments and dirty exotic cities? Psychopaths and sociopaths in their newly evolved niches in the global shadows, in real-life action (and unpacked on a psych level pretty well)? Financial crimes? Freaky murder scenes? Official corruption? Nation-states getting into weird trades, making meth and such? Earnest good law enforcers in many countries who climbed from humble backgrounds to elite adventurous jobs? Justice done in the midst of all this? If any of this is your cup of tea, just push the "buy" button and dive in.
That said, the work is VERY cinematic, almost a movie score, and the drooling admiration for the rough and ready heroes is pretty cliche. But this work is at least a half-notch above the standard action-adventure fare due to its financial sophistication. That is not to say it is very technically complex (which I would like to see more of). But it does a great job of mapping a sophisticated multinational modern bunch of gangsters, and telling the criminal justice tale that ensues. The author was selective with details, which is a strength for reaching a wide audience with some pretty sharp work. Michael Mann (of Miami Vice, Heat, and similar TV and cinema projects) is involved and his fingerprints are all over this. It is like a sound-movie.
With nonfiction this good, I have to wonder why novels sell at all. Not only is the pacing first-rate, the characterizations are crisp, but also the facts and legal angles are neatly displayed too. This is a home run with bases loaded.
At the center is LeRoux himself, the quintessential amoral nerd-genius of our times, a genuine Dr. Evil.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-2019

entertaining and unsettling

Are you listening Netfix? Much of the story sounds too perfectly dramatic, almost script-like almost unbelievable. The author is gearing for a miniseries without a doubt. I'd watch it :)

0 of 2 people found this review helpful