Pablo Escobar was said to be the richest, most powerful drug lord ever to have existed.
During his peak, from the 70s to early 90s – he was the biggest cocaine trafficker to America. As head of the Medellin cartel, he and his accomplices were able to bring in ton quantities of cocaine into the United States each week, consequently monopolizing the Miami market.
At the height of his power, Escobar, who was 44 when he was killed, was listed by America’s Forbes Magazine as the seventh richest man in the world.
The son of the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar said that from the incalculable fortune of his father, the only thing he inherited was a watch that he keeps out of “affection.”
“My dad wasn’t very good at accounts, at numbers, I don’t think he knew how many millions he had. When we left the country after his death, the government kept everything. It’s all in the hands of the authorities and not of the victims as it should be,” Sebastian Marroquin said in an interview with Brazil’s Globonews television.
He said that his father’s fortune, estimated at the time by some business publications at $10 billion, financed the cartels’ battle against the Colombian government.
A massive hunt is now underway, which has been triggered by astonishing revelations over the whereabouts of Escobar’s illicit fortunes in a new book, Escobar: The Untold Story Of The World’s Most Powerful Criminal, written by his brother Roberto, a former cartel “accountant.”
Roberto says that Escobar, killed in a shoot-out with troops and US drug enforcement agents in Medellin, Columbia, in December 1993, left fortunes salted away in Swiss bank accounts.
Since numbers for those accounts were known only to Escobar, the wealth deposited in them is likely to be lost for ever.
But, Roberto reveals, huge sums in cash were simply buried. And the hunt is on to find the hidden money.
So far only $8million (£5million), along with an arsenal of weapons, has been recovered from underground vaults at a sprawling complex built in the jungle for Escobar.
Enormous sums, the locations of which Roberto has not revealed, remain buried in or near other properties owned by Escobar in Colombia and other countries, including Mexico.
Escobar’s missing millions
Well, according to Quora, his assets, such as properties and cars, were seized by the Colombian government after his death as at the time, a ‘law of unjust enrichment’ had just been passed allowing seizure of such property. His private zoo at Hacienda Nápoles featuring exotic animals to Colombia such as hippos was turned into a theme park.
It is also believed that members of the Cali Cartel, which succeeded the Medellin cartel, forced Pablo Escobar’s family to sign over properties. Money in his international bank accounts is said to have been confiscated and shared between the American and Colombian governments.