It is almost impossible to calculate how much Pablo Escobar made or how much was his net worth. Some estimates are up to $30 billion, while others say he was even richer. Nevertheless, the King of Cocaine was one of the richest people in the world at one point. And while his business was illegal, it sure made a lot of money. Here are a couple of facts taking a look at his wealth.
$420 million weekly earnings
In the middle of the 1980s, when he was at his absolute best, Escobar’s cartel earned more than $420 million per week. That is more than $22 billion per year. Nowadays, the richest people in the world cannot imagine earning that much. And that was all due to cocaine.
By the end of the 1980s, Pablo Escobar produced more than 80% of the cocaine used in the world. Every day, he smuggled up to 15 tons of cocaine in the United States alone.
The Smuggling Road
Some experts and journalists think that the Medellin cartel used the coast of Florida to smuggle the cocaine. The 900 miles long road from the north coast of Columbia was wide open. So how did it operate?
Columbians and Americans dropped huge amounts of cocaine from planes to the sea. From there, with speed boats, Pablo’s men took them to the shore of Florida. Sometimes, they even send planes on the land of Florida, leaving it to fall over the fields.
Some estimates are that Pablo smuggled more than 15 tons of cocaine in the US daily.
Providing cocaine for the entire US
At his height, Pablo was the King of Cocaine in the US and the world. Four out of five Americans using cocaine actually used Escobar’s cocaine.
He lost $2 billion every year
At one point, Pablo Escobar couldn’t do his money laundering fast enough. He made more money than he could launder. So, what could he do? Escobar started hiding money over the Columbian fields, abandoned warehouses, into the walls of the houses of Medellin cartel members and more.
His accountant and brother Roberto Escobar says they lose money, but that didn’t matter in the big picture. Every year, the cartel wiped out 10% of its money. They considered them lost because the rats ate it, mold, or simply disappeared. But it didn’t matter.
Money for warmth
In one interview in 2009, his son Juan described life with the King of Cocaine while they were in exile. They lived modestly in the mountains. They had a small house, and one night, his daughter Manuela went into hyperthermia. So, keep her warm, Pablo burned $2 million in paper money.
Pablo Escobar made billions of money. But he always made sure to give back to the community. He gave money to the poor and build houses for the homeless. In total, he built more than 70 playgrounds for soccer. He also made a zoo for the poor kids.
That is why people in Columbia called him Robin Hood
Life in the Cathedral Prison
Pablo Escobar had a special deal with the government of Columbia. He told them if they arrest him at any time to place him in his own luxurious prison. He named the prison La Cathedral.
The prison had its own soccer field, barbeque, and many more amenities. He could continue running his cartel from there. Columbian officials were banned in a 5 miles radius.