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MR. MARLBORO’S MILLIONS

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Mokhtar Belmokhtar
Mokhtar Belmokhtar
Mokhtar Belmokhtar

BY BIKRAM VOHRA

Not sure if you have heard of Mokhtar Belmokhtar who was killed in a US airstrike a couple of days ago.

He was on the run for the past seven years. After an Algerian court sentenced him to life in absentia he joined several fringe groups.  He became interested in jihad in 1972.

Now, comes the odd part. He was worth $300 million.

Where did he keep this money? How did he make that much money? Mostly through smuggling cigarettes across the border and earning the title Mr. Marlboro.

It’s not like he was going to walk into a bank and give them his passport and a letter of employment and open an account and get a cheque book an ATM card and Credit Card with a free dining option and several thousand air miles.

And have an accounts manager or advisor calling him on investments.

Sir, I am your personal banking advisor.

Can’t talk now, I am in the middle of a firefight, bang, bang, bang.

Could I visit you Sir, we have this great new investment plan in real estate… I can send you the four colour brochure, very good returns almost 5.5% PER ANNUM, WHAT WAS THAT.????????????

That was my AK47, no time to talk now.

The Yanks had a $5 million bounty on his head. He was a wanted ‘terrorist’ and Interpol was tracking him.

Did he carry the money with him whenever the law got too close? Maybe he dug a hole in the garden and put it all there. But then, what if he couldn’t come back to that place. He could have changed it into diamonds but who knows if it is fake or real and you could get conned.

If he found a vault and put it in that where did he keep the key and did he worry about someone stealing it all.

It isn’t easy fleeing from the world’s legal arms and having so much cash. Can’t even trust a friend.

Intriguing, right?

And who has the money now.

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