Pablo Escobar is considered the richest criminal in history. At its peak, Escobar’s net worth would have made him one of the world’s wealthiest people even today.
Some say that crime never pays. However, in the case of Pablo Escobar, this saying should be changed to “Crime pays, but it’s never worth it in the end”. Pablo Escobar is the richest criminal in history, with a net worth that would place him among the world’s wealthiest people even today.
In the end, however, all chickens came home to roost. Escobar’s life as a criminal meant he was never going to die peacefully in bed.
Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug smuggler: the founder of the infamous Medellin Cartel. During his career, Escobar smuggled 80% of the world’s cocaine across four continents.
The cartel was created in 1975 in Medellin, Escobar’s hometown. He bought cocaine paste from Peru and smuggled it into the United States through Panama. At the peak of the cartel, Escobar also smuggled cocaine in Europe through Africa.
In just a few years, he became one of the wealthiest people in the world, all through the illegal business of cocaine smuggling.
Pablo 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. It is believed that millions of dollars every month were 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 buy 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.