Pablo Escobar became one of the world’s richest people thanks to his cocaine cartel. His story, however, is the perfect example of why crime never pays.
They say that crime pays, and in the case of Pablo Escobar they were absolutely right. What they don’t say, however, is that you will pay for your crimes as well, which Pablo Escobar definitely did too. He was the richest criminal in history, with an insane net worth, but in the end it all came to hunt him down.
Pablo Escobar was a Colombian criminal, founder of the Medellin Cartel. With his “enterprise”, Escobar smuggled 80% of the world’s cocaine, serving as mediator between “suppliers” and “consumers”.
The cartel was created in 1975 in Medellin, Escobar’s home town. He bought cocaine paste from Peru and smuggled it in the United States through Panama.
In just a few years, he became one of the wealthiest people in the world, all through the illegal business of cocaine smuggling. Escobar’s net worth peaked at $30 billion, all in hard cash.
When we think of high net worths, we picture rich billionaires with all their wealth in stocks. When their stock price falls, their net worth falls as well. Nobody in the world has a billion dollars in cash just lying there.
However, Escobar did. In fact, it is believed that millions of dollars every month would be lost because of mold and rats eating them. Almost $2,500 every month would be spent only on rubber bands to hold the bills together.
One time, while running away from the DEA, Pablo Escobar used real dollar bills to light the fire and keep his family warm.
All this wealth, however, would not help him escape his inevitable fate.
On the run
For most of his time as Medellin Cartel leader, Pablo Escobar retained the support of the people and the city. He invested large amounts of money into public buildings and services, and was seen as a “superhero” by the population.
While the American and Colombian authorities tried to hunt Escobar down, they’d always run into the people’s resistance. Safe in his jungle compounds, Escobar was virtually unreachable.
Escobar’s demise would come when he tried to fly too close to the Sun. His dream was to become Colombia’s president, an attempt that would expose him too much. Escobar couldn’t hide his immense wealth and the reason for it, and couldn’t possibly by the allegiance of every Colombian citizen.
Eventually, the American DEA caught and eliminated Pablo Escobar in 1993. He was shot down in the very Medellin he thought to be the king of.
Pablo Escobar inspired many movies and TV shows in the aftermath of his death. Each one of them, however, follows the same moral: crime does not pay in the long run.