Across the Pacific Ocean, in the island nation of The Philippines, a bizarre tale of murder, drugs, gang lords, and former US Army soldiers is developing. On Wednesday, three former soldiers were convicted by the Filipino authorities because of their work as hitmen. 52-year-old Joseph Hunter, 50-year-old Carl David Stillwell, and 43-year-old Adam Samia agreed to work for international drug trafficker Paul Le Roux. Le Roux hired them to do "ninja work," a euphemism for contract killing.

The target of the three American men was a female real estate agent whom Le Roux blamed for orchestrating a failed deal.

The recruitment for this job began back in 2012 when the crime boss agreed to pay Samia, a former Army sniper, and Stillwell $35,000 for the killing. During the commission of the crime, Samia and Stillwell pretended to be home buyers interested in finding something in the rural suburbs of Manila. En route back to Manila, Samia used a .22-caliber pistol to shoot Catherine Lee twice in the face.

U.S. authorities arrested Samia and Stillwell in 2015, and the pair were only recently extradited back to The Philippines. As for Hunter, the former soldier with training experience with the U.S. Special Forces, used to work as Le Roux's chief security agent, and therefore played a pivotal role in ordering and planning the 2012 hit.

Modern-day warlord

Without Paul Le Roux, the senseless murder of Lee would have never happened. Right now, Le Roux, an international crime boss who has been wanted by authorities for over twenty years, is in court in New York facing multiple charges. A shocked jury heard, back in the first week of April, just how the crime boss had managed to cause so much havoc in the world.

So far, the South African businessman has admitted to arming rebels in Africa, smuggling drugs, chemicals, and gold all across the world, and participating in at least five murders.

Le Roux was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia, which was then a former British colony ruled by a white-minority government. He was given up for adoption after his birth, and during his early years, he lived in war-torn Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.

Beginning in the 1980s, he made a name for himself as a computer whiz. A decade later, he was known throughout the world as the creator of E4M encryption and TrueCrypt.

While he made legitimate money with his software ventures, the chubby gangster also invested heavily in the underground economy of organized crime. All told, Le Roux has confessed to selling missile technology to Iran, guns to Indonesian rebels, and smuggling and distributing large quantities of methamphetamines manufactured in North Korea.The South African also may be one of the key individuals smuggling illegal painkillers from Mexico to the United States.

Le Roux claims that he hired a private militia of two hundred men in order to grow hallucinogenic plants in Somalia and conspired with foreign mercenaries to overthrow the government of Seychelles.

The gunmen

Le Roux admitted during his trial that Stillwell, Samia, and Hunter had frequently done dangerous work on his behalf. The killing of real estate agent Catherine Lee is just one of many crimes that the former soldiers did on behalf of Le Roux. After killing Lee, the three assassins dumped her body in a city garbage pit.

More crimes are expected to be revealed this month by Le Roux, who was first arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2012. Since that time, Le Roux has worked as an informant for the U.S. government and even played a role in the sting operation that arrested Hunter in Phuket, Thailand in 2013. Hunter is currently serving a twenty-year jail sentence for planning the murder of a DEA agent. Hunter, Samia, and Stillwell will be sentenced in September for the murder of Lee.