Yesterday the Celeb Net Worth website published a survey that ranked the richest drug traffickers of all time.
Eight of the highest earners made their money in the drug trade, given the fact that the nature of criminal syndicates is changing and the illegal activities they participate in are diversifying.
Here’s the top 10: Both estimates are calibrated to the dollars for 2012.
10. 10. Al Capone, $1.3 billion: At his 1947 death, one of America’s most famous gangsters was worth more than a billion dollars. During prohibition Capone got his start smuggling liquor but later branched out to other criminal activities.
9. Griselda Blanco, $2 billion: Cocaine’s godmother is the only woman who has made it into the top ten. She was gunned down in Medellin last month.
8. Carlos Lehder: $2.7 billion: Lehder, who has been in US jail since 1987, is considered one of the Medellin Cartel ‘s leaders. The film “Blast” is basing loosely on the life of Lehder.
7. The Orejuela Brothers, $3 billion: The brothers, both serving jail sentences in the U.S., formed the Southern Colombian Cali Cartel, which, according to Celebrity Net Worth, supplied 70% of all cocaine in the U.S. and 90% of cocaine in Europe at its height.
6. Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, $5 billion: Given his peak net worth of $5 billion, Gacha was the Medellin cartel ‘s second-least wealthy founder (all six made the list). He pioneered the use of well-placed Mexican ranches for cross-border smuggling of drugs.
5. Khun Sa, $5 billion: Nicknamed the Opium King, during the 1960s Khun Sa took a men ‘s army to Burma to grow opium in the Golden Triangle of South East Asia. According to The Economist, at its height, Sa ‘s Army had around 20,000 soldiers. He sold some of the largest amounts of pure heroin ever — the Law Enforcement Agency referred to him as the best in the business at 90 per cent clean. Sa was also portrayed in the film American Gangster as the protagonists’ Southeast Asian heroin dealer.
4. The Ochoa Brothers, $6 billion: In 1987, the three brothers were all listed on Forbes’ first World Billionaires List along with Pablo Escobar. In 1991 Jorge Ochoa turned in and served a five-year term. He was soon accompanied by his brothers.
3. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, $6.7 billion: India’s most-wanted fugitive is the enigmatic Kaskar. He leads the D-Company crime syndicate and is wanted for-among other things-counterfeiting charges and reportedly financing the 1993 and 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes, $25 billion: Fuentes became the president of the Juarez Cartel after he assassinated his boss. He was known as Lord of the Sky until he suddenly died during a botched plastic surgery because he operated a fleet of planes to help the Colombians smuggle their narcotics into the United States.
1. Pablo Escobar, $30 billion: The Medellin cartel ‘s notorious head tops the list. Had Escobar been included in today’s Forbes Billionaire rankings, he would have been tied for seventh.