On Dec 2, 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was killed in a shootout with Colombian security forces in Medellin. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the man dubbed "The King of Cocaine".
He Appeared on the Forbes Billionaire List Forbes first published its billionaires' list in 1987, and Pablo Escobar was included among the world’s top 100 super rich. Escobar and his Medellin cartel were rolling in so much money that in 1984, they offered to pay off Colombia’s national debt in return for immunity from prosecution. Escobar made the Forbes list each year seven years in a row, and in 1989, was listed as the 7th wealthiest billionaire in the world.
He Spent $2,500 Per Month On Rubber Bands Due to his massive amounts of money, and the effort it took to transport it, Escober stored piles of it in local warehouses. During the height of his operation, the Medellín Cartel brought in more than $70 million per day. The cartel spent over US $2,500 per month purchasing rubber bands just to wrap the stacks of cash, storing most of it in their warehouses. Ten percent of the cash had to be written off per year because of "spoilage", due to rats creeping in and nibbling on the bills.
The Drug King Had a Handle on Logistics
Authorities in Colombia managed to seize some of the fleet and properties used by Escobar in his cocaine operation. In addition to 141 offices and homes, they confiscated 142 airplanes, 32 yachts, and 20 helicopters. He also had two submarines to transport cocaine to the United States, estimated to have carried up to 30,000 pounds of the white powder each day to American shores.
He Once Burned $2 Million To Keep His Daughter Warm Although Escobar was notoriously violent in protecting and running his powerful drug cartel, he held a soft spot for this family. In 1991 Pablo was on the run after escaping from prison. Staying in a farmhouse in the hills of Medellín, Pablo’s daughter soon fell ill with pneumonia. In order to keep her warm he used nearly $2 million as kindle for fire.
Escobar Built His Own Prison Escobar contacted Colombian authorities in 1991, offering to surrender with one caveat—he wanted to construct the prison that would hold him. Surprisingly, they agreed, and he built a facility that included a waterfall, nightclub, soccer field, and sauna, along with phones, fax machines, and computers. However he didn't stay there for too long. After about a year, he had enough, and walked out of his prison using a secret back door. He was discovered and killed the day after his 44th birthday in 1993.