"Arkan became an untouchable criminal figure in Belgrade and all of the former Yugoslavia. He was really so powerful, so strong financially that no one could do anything about him...In one television statement, I told him when we were debating on TV, that he had pulled a sock over his head more often than I had pulled one on my feet."
—Vojislav eelj on Serbian warlord eljko "Arkan" Ranatović
Open a dictionary, turn it to "Mastermind",
"I want to tell you about a man. I know his name but prefer not to pronounce it, so shall call him X. I assure you he is no figment; I only wish he were...He has varied and extensive sources of income. All of them are illegal and some of them are morally repulsive. Narcotics, smuggling, industrial and commercial rackets, gambling, waterfront blackguardism, professional larceny, blackmailing, political malfeasancethat by no means exhausts his curriculum, but it sufficiently indicates his character. He has, up to now, triumphantly kept himself invulnerable by having the perspicacity to see that a criminal practicing on a large scale over a wide area and a long period of time can get impunity only by maintaining a gap between his person and his crimes which cannot be bridged; and by having unexcelled talent, a remorseless purpose, and a will that cannot be dented or deflected."
—Nero Wolfe describing Arnold Zeck in The Second Confession
Shem Shem Tsien owns the largest collection of preserved lepidoptera in the world.
He keeps nearly one hundred thumbs in a display case.
He is received in embassies from Brunei to Moscow, owns property in Mayfair.
Fifteen thousand infantry, nine thousand cavalry, and three thousand artillerymen, sappers and murderers take their orders from his lips alone.
His word is law from Kalimpong to the southern reaches of the Katirs.
"Impudent twerp! Do you think I am merely another mad scientist incapable of assuring his gravy train by conning the military into funding a grossly-overpriced weapons project? For years I have been the darkness you have always feared, the undiscovered weapon of mass destruction, the practical application behind the most lunatic conspiracy theory! I am the Hidden Hand of History, the Mille-feuille of Crime, the Master of Disguise. With the aid of a good chameleon mask and a bad set designer, I have been the most evil men who ever lived!"
— Dr Zarkendorf, Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space
Among the dark, twisting alleyways and sordid haunt of Marienburg's east docklands lurk footpads, cut-throats, cultists and all manner of wicked and deadly folk. These are men hardened by a life of constant crime. Yet there is a name that strikes fear into the hearts of even these ruthless and selfish men - the Master of Shadows. None have ever seen the Master of Shadows, or at least none have ever survived to speak of it, but his presence is felt everywhere. From the musky black lotus dens of the Suidworf to the illegal fighting pits beneath the warehouse district, no criminal act takes place without the Master of Shadows' consent. Some believe him to be a dispossessed noble from the Reikland, others claim that he was once a high priest of the cult of Ranald. The foolish scoff and say that he is a myth, but they do not live long.
—Warhammer: Vampire Counts Army Book (7th edition)
Valcav Trefusis: The world has heard of Truro Daine. In an era where criminals are largely imbecile sociopaths, politico-religious fanatics, disadvantaged simpletons or overenthusiastic executives, he is unique.
Susan Bishopric: Fu Manchu.
Valcav Trefusis: I beg pardon?
Susan Bishopric: Fu Manchu, the Great Enchanter, Professor Moriarty, Captain Nemo, Zenith the Albino, Dr Mabuse, Lex Luthor, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Dr Doom, Eugene Smedly, Cardinal Synn. A master criminal.