Incredible facts and figures about drug lord Pablo Escobar's crime empire


The much-hyped Netflix series, “Narcos” (2015-present), tells the story of the rise and fall of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Here are some facts about one of the wealthiest and most dangerous narcotics kingpins of all time.

• Starting as a petty thief, Escobar used to steal cars and smuggle contraband cigarettes to earn money. In the early 1970s, he allegedly made $100,000 by kidnapping an executive based in the Colombian city of Medellín.

• During the peak of its operations Escobar's infamous Medellin cartel is estimated to have netted a whopping $70million on a day-to-day basis. Around $1000 were reportedly spent each week on rubber bands to wrap the stacks of cash.

• In the 1980s, the Medellin cartel accounted for 80 per cent of the cocaine smuggled into the U.S. Among other things, he shipped the drug in airplane tires, offering handsome amounts of money to pilots.

• Roberto Escobar , the accountant of Medellin cartel and Pablo’s brother, claimed that in addition to planes, his brother used two small submarines to smuggle massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S.

• As documented in the book “Escobar: The Inside Story of Pablo Escobar, the World's Most Powerful Criminal,” by Roberto Escobar, the biggest shipment of cocaine to the U.S. weighed 51,000 lbs. (23,000 kg).

• In the early 1990s, as one of the wealthiest criminals in history, Escobar pooled around $60 million a day, skyrocketing his net worth to around $30 billion.

• Beginning in 1987, quite incredibly, he was featured on Forbes’ international billionaires list seven years in a row.

• Located in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia, Escobar’s sprawling estate, Hacienda Nápoles, spreads over 7.7 square miles (20 sq. km). It comprised a sculpture garden, a lake, a private bullring (pictured), a kart racing track, a private airport and a zoo, which featured a huge array of animals from different continents including antelope, elephant, exotic birds, giraffe, and hippopotamus. After his death, the estate was converted into a theme park.

• After being charged with the assassination of Colombian journalist and liberal politician Luis Carlos Galán, Escobar was confined to his self-built luxurious prison, La Catedral, overlooking the city of Medellín. Also called “Hotel Escobar” or “Club Medellin,” it comprised a football pitch, giant doll house, bar, Jacuzzi, and a waterfall. He is said to have installed a telescope that helped him look at his daughter’s house in the city.

• To stay onside with the Colombian public, Escobar sponsored children’s football teams, built fields and multi-sports courts. He also aided the construction of hospitals, churches, and schools in western Colombia.