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Updated by Victoria on Sep 21, 2017
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Some Lesser Known Facts about Pablo Escobar

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, born on December 1st, 1949 to a lower middle-class family was a powerful Colombian drug lord and leader of one of the powerful criminal organizations. At his zenith in the 80s, he ran and controlled a vast empire of drugs that covered the globe. He is responsible for hundreds of murders and presided over an empire of luxury mansions, planes, his own private zoo and a personal army comprising of soldiers and hardened criminals.

He started off as a criminal on the streets of Medellin in his teens smuggling cars, tombstones, cigarettes and even ...

Pablo Escobar began his career in crime as a teenager on the streets of Medellin. He started off by stealing and sandpapering the tombstones to sell them to smugglers in Panama. He progressed to selling contraband cigarettes, fake lottery tickets and running small scams. In early 1970s, he became a thief and a bodyguard eventually kidnapping a Medellin executive for ransom. The next stop was drug trade in which he became the numero uno smuggler of all times.

At one point of time, Escobar was earning 420 million USD a week, which amounted to 22 billion a year.

At his zenith, Pablo would earn about 420 million USD a week. While hiding the cash did not prove a problem, organizing the bank notes did. The Escobar brothers resorted to purchasing 2,500 USD worth of rubber bands a month to neatly wrap the currency bills and store them in their hideouts.

16 months after his escape from La Catedral, Pablo Escobar died in a shootout on 2 December 1993, amid another of Esc...

According to reports, his dead body was found on a rooftop in Medellin, Colombia. The bystanders reported a 20-minute shootout between Pablo, his bodyguard, Alvaro de Jesus Agudelo and some elite police task force, known as the “Search Bloc.” The fatal shot took place on December 2nd, 1993. Before his body fell dead on the floor, Pablo was on the run from his ‘luxurious prison,’ La Catedral since June 1992. The police tracked him based on the call he made to his son Juan Pablo.

Escobar purchased an island, Norman’s Cay, in the Bahamas which he used as the central smuggling route for Medellin C...

In the late 70s Carlos Lehder, a member of Medellin cartel purchased Norman’s Cay, an island in the Bahamas. A 1,000m airstrip, houses, harbor, hotel, aircraft and boats were part of this purchase. Escobar even built a refrigerated warehouse to store his cocaine. The Cay remained a smuggling route for four years (1978 -1982).

Initially, he smuggled cocaine in old plane tyres. A pilot could earn as much as £500,000 per flight.

According to Pablo Escobar’s brother, Escobar switched to Cocaine smuggling when smuggling contraband cigarettes became dangerous to traffic. Initially, he smuggled the Cocaine in old plane tyres and a pilot was paid as much as £500,000 per flight depending on how many kilos he brought in. A single flight in a week could yield an astonishing profit of about £1 million. Soon the flights tripled. He also employed two small remote controlled submarines to transfer his Cocaine.

During the 80s, 80% of the world’s cocaine was supplied by Escobar’s cartel and smuggled 15 tons of cocaine into the ...

During the heights of its operations in the 80s, Escobar’s cartel smuggled 15 tons of Cocaine into U.S. every day earning more than half a billion from this daily operation. The cartel soon gained global control over the drug smuggling. In fact, a whopping 80% of the Cocaine market was controlled by the cartel.

Pablo Escobar offered to pay off Colombia’s 20 billion USD of foreign debt in order to avoid extradition to the US.

When the Colombian government turned the heat on drug trade, Pablo Escobar approached the government with an unusual peace treaty. He offered to invest the cartel’s money into the national development programs and also pay off the foreign debt in return for not getting extradited to US. The Colombian government refused.

Pablo Escobar lost 10% of his annual income to rats which would eat the stashed currency notes.

Once Pablo Escobar entered the drug trade, cash began to flow in rapidly. He earned so much that he had to hide the piles of cash in Colombian farming fields, dilapidated warehouses and in the walls of the cartel members’ homes. Some of these cash piles would be eaten by rats or turn moldy due to water seepage resulting in a loss of 10% of his annual income (that would be 2.1 billion USD).

Pablo Escobar employed ‘Plata O Plomo’ (Silver or Lead) policy in dealing with the law enforcement officials.

The Ruthless Escobar garnered numerous enemies during his rise as the drug lord. His growing influence was not liked by policemen, judges and even certain civilians. He used corruption and intimidation as twin weapons in dealing with the law enforcement officials. Escobar’s policy was referred to as ‘Plata o Plomo’, which literally meant silver or lead (out of which bullet is made) in Spanish. This meant, accept bribe or face assassination. When a judge or a police got in his way, Pablo would try to bribe them (Plata). But if they refused bribe, he would order them to be killed(Plomo) sometimes including the members of their family.

Pablo Escobar, who was one of the 10 richest men in the world at his prime had an estimated net worth of 30 billion U...

Pablo Escobar most often called as the ‘Cocaine King’ was one of the wealthiest criminals in history. In 1987, the Forbes estimated that his personal wealth was at least 3 billion USD. Escobar continued to make his place in the Forbes list of billionaires for seven successful years (1987–1993). He was declared as the seventh-richest man in the world in 1989. His last appearance was on the year he died. His net worth was estimated to be 1 billion USD at the time of his death.