Here are the top 10 richest drug lords in history. They are the most notorious drug traffickers throughout history.
They’re a fascinating collection of powerful men and women who have amassed some of the world’s most astonishing fortunes while leading violent or eccentric lives.
Furthermore, these crooks and business people were regarded as some of the most dangerous on the planet by government officials and associates.
However, several of these were included in official most-wanted lists in several nations.
The deep ties they had to other criminals, as well as their reliance on staying to themselves, are intriguing.
Many were involved in family businesses that aided the wealthiest drug lords. Some of the richest drug lords are listed below.
Table of Contents
- 1. Pablo Escobar: Estimated Net worth $30 Billion
- 2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes: Estimated Net worth $25 Billion
- 3. Dawood Ibrahim kaskar: Estimated Net worth $6.7 Billion
- 4. Jorge Luis Ochoa Vasquez: Estimated Net worth $6 Billion
- 5. Khun Sa: Estimated Net worth $5.65 Billion
- 6. Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez: Estimated Net worth $5.65 Billion
- 7. Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and his brothers: Estimated Net worth $3 Billion
- 8. Carlos Lehder: Estimated Net worth $2.7 Billion
- 9. Griselda Blanco: Estimated Net worth $2 Billion
- 10. Joaquin El Chapo Guzman: Estimated Net worth $1 Billion
1. Pablo Escobar: Estimated Net worth $30 Billion
Pablo Escobar is the richest drug lord in history. Escobar, dubbed “The King of Cocaine,” is the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated net worth of US$30 billion at the time of his death which is equivalent to $64 billion in 2021.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, his drug cartel monopolized the cocaine trade into the United States. Furthermore, Pablo Emilion Escobar Gaviria was the name given to the legendary Colombian narco-terrorist.
He was the head of a cartel responsible for smuggling 80 percent of the cocaine into the United States.
Furthermore, He was a university student at Medelln for a period. However, he dropped out before selling counterfeit lottery tickets, illegal smokes, and stealing automobiles.
He honed his skills at infiltrating the US narcotics market and specialized in cocaine trafficking.
In addition, He is credited with the creation of the first effective smuggling routes into the United States.
Additionally, His Medelln Cartel was notorious for assassinating and murdering politicians and law enforcement officers.
Despite his fame for constructing football fields and houses in Columbia, the city was dubbed the world’s murder capital.
Unfortunately, Escobar was assassinated by Colombian National Police while he was only 44 years old.
2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes: Estimated Net worth $25 Billion
Amado Carrillo Fuentes was a powerful drug lord in Mexico. In addition, Amado Carrillo Fuentes was born in the Mexican state of Sinaloa on December 17, 1956.
He was reared in a family with eleven siblings with ties to the Guadalajara Cartel through his uncle, who was the organization’s commander at one point.
Fuentes’ uncle, Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca Carrillo, introduced him to the cartel as a child and quickly promoted him to a high-ranking lieutenant.
Furthermore, Fuentes was sent to handle cocaine shipping activities in Chihuahua while Don Neto was still at the head of the Guadalajara Cartel.
During this period, Amado learned a lot from professional drug traffickers like Pablo “The Ojinaga Fox” Acosta Villareal and Rafael Aguilar Guajardo. Later, Amado’s father and one of his brothers died in mysterious circumstances.
In addition, Amado Carrillo Fuentes finally grew so robust and influential that he posed a serious threat to the Mexican government’s integrity.
People in Mexico noticed that Fuentes possessed home in the state of Morelos, barely three blocks from the governor’s residence, Jorge Carrillo Olea. Residents connected the dots and concluded Jorge Olea was collaborating with Fuentes.
Furthermore, When Jorge Carrillo Olea resigned due to public pressure, he was imprisoned right afterward. This alarmed Amado Carrillo Fuentes. DEA agents and Mexican anti-drug squads were hunting.
He moved from country to country in search of asylum, hoping to find it in places like Asia. Additionally, He agreed on a major plastic surgery procedure to entirely remodel his face as a final resort.
Despite his hopes that this treatment would allow him to start a new life under a new name, it failed miserably. Despite the surgeons’ best efforts, something went wrong during the operation, and Fuentes died.
3. Dawood Ibrahim kaskar: Estimated Net worth $6.7 Billion
Dawood Ibrahim is one of the richest drug lords of all time. Ibrahim Kaskar was born in Mumka, Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, India, on December 27, 1955. Dawood Ibrahim is the head of a criminal gang in India.
In addition, D-Company was created in Mumbai by Dawood Ibrahim. He was put on Interpol’s wanted list for orchestrating crime and counterfeiting.
Additionally, He was suspected of being the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bombings.
However, according to some sources, Ibrahim’s company earned money from the Bollywood film industry, real estate, and betting.
4. Jorge Luis Ochoa Vasquez: Estimated Net worth $6 Billion
During the late 1980s, Jorge, Juan David, and Fabio Ochoa were vital members of the dangerous Medellin Cartel.
The brothers were known for working together to manufacture, distribute, and advertise cocaine.
Initially, the Ochoa brothers were part of a cattle-breeding family that also managed family restaurants.
Furthermore, Jorge founded his cartel in the 1970s, which launched their excursion into the narcotics business.
Several arrests, indictments, and extradition proceedings in numerous countries linked the Columbian family.
Still, by 1984, the cartel’s dominance had grown to the point where each Columbian extradition would result in the murder of ten Columbian judges.
Furthermore, Jorge is one of the world’s top twenty richest men, according to Forbes. In 1987, his net worth was reported to be around $3 billion.
5. Khun Sa: Estimated Net worth $5.65 Billion
Khun Sa is one of the richest drug lords. Zhang Qifu is also known as Khun Sa in Burmese. Additionally, He was born in Burma and trained with the Burmese Army and the Kuomintang in his early years.
Furthermore, He finally won his area, allowing him to engage in substantial opium trafficking in the Golden Triangle.
He dominated the opium trade for the next twenty years, starting in 1976. However, To achieve his objectives, he enlisted the help of both the Burmese and Thai governments.
Meanwhile, He was dubbed “Opium King” because of his vast network. His profession as a drug boss took him all around the world.
He shut down activities and relocated to Yangon to live with his mistresses in great riches after the American Drug Enforcement Agency severed the links he had made with his international brokers.
6. Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez: Estimated Net worth $5.65 Billion
Jose Gonzalo Rodriquez Gacha was a Colombian drug lord and one of the Medellin Cartel’s top executives, working alongside Pablo Escobar, the Ochoa brothers, and Carlos Lehder. Rodriguez was born into a poor family and grew up to become a hitman.
He subsequently relocated to Medellin, where he formed the Medellin Cartel with the help of others.
In addition, Rodriquez aided in establishing different cocaine trafficking lines throughout South and Latin America and the construction of various labs in the jungles where the cocaine was produced.
Rodriguez sought to diversify his holdings as their business flourished, purchasing ranches and gem mines.
However, Rodriquez was one of the main organizers of kidnappings and bombs against the police, VIPs, judges, and other government officials.
When the Columbian government began to confront the Medellin Cartel more aggressively, Jose would continue to oppose the government and resist imprisonment until he was assassinated in a police raid in 1989.
7. Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and his brothers: Estimated Net worth $3 Billion
Gilberto Rodriguez is also one of the richest drug lords in history. The Cali Cartel was formed when Gilberto and his brother Miguel joined forces with José Santacruz London.
It was called after the city of Santiago de Cali, where it was founded.
Cali is unusual from Colombian other towns in that it has access to the Pacific Coast. The brothers started with marijuana and then moved on to cocaine.
Furthermore, The Cali Cartel distinguished itself from the brutal Medellin Cartel by employing bribery to achieve its objectives.
When the Colombian National Police stormed Gilberto’s residence, he was arrested. In addition, Gilberto had previously eluded the cops by hiding in a bathroom cupboard with a tank of oxygen.
Unfortunately, He was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in jail. He was set free for a short period before being apprehended.
Additionally, Both Giberto and Miguel were extradited to the United States and pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle cocaine and, later, conspiring to launder money.
Additionally, Gilberto is serving a 30-year sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina.
In exchange for immunity for 29 members of their family, the brothers decided to plead guilty.
8. Carlos Lehder: Estimated Net worth $2.7 Billion
Carlos Lehder is a German-Colombian drug dealer with a net worth of $2.7 billion at one point. He rose to prominence as the vast cocaine distribution network leader centered on his private island in the Bahamas. He was one of the world’s richest drug lords.
Meanwhile, He was imprisoned in the United States after making a fantastic amount of money from his narcotics operations.
Lehder is currently residing in Germany after completing his reduced term. Lehder collaborated with some of the top names in the worldwide drug trade, including Pablo Escobar, during his drug-running career.
9. Griselda Blanco: Estimated Net worth $2 Billion
Griselda Blanco was a legendary drug trafficker who had a net worth of $2 billion at one point in her life. “The Black Widow,” or “La Madrina,” was also known as the “Cocaine Godmother.”
In the 1980s, she rose to prominence and influence by running cocaine for the Medellin Cartel and developing special underwear to aid cartel members in smuggling cocaine across the border.
In addition, In the 1970s and 1980s, Blanco was one of the country’s most significant cocaine traffickers.
Additionally, she was also allegedly responsible for at least 200 deaths of men, women, and children, making her one of the most vicious crime bosses of all time (though the number could be as high as 2,000).
Many of her victims were drug dealers, while some were uninvolved spectators.
Furthermore, Griselda worked closely with Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, whom she had known since infancy, and she was dubbed “the Black Widow” since she had lost all three of her husbands.
In 1985, Griselda was apprehended and condemned to 20 years in jail after running her evil empire for over a decade.
She was released early, then deported to Colombia based on a technicality, where she was murdered at the age of 69 in 2012.
10. Joaquin El Chapo Guzman: Estimated Net worth $1 Billion
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is a Mexican drug lord who runs the Sinaloa Cartel and is widely regarded as the world’s most influential and notorious drug lord.
Additionally, Joaquin’s cartel, known as “El Chapo,” is principally concerned with the trade of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy, all of which are predominantly sent to the United States for sale.
Furthermore, He is claimed to be worth $1 billion and is well-known for his numerous prison escapes.
El Chapo has been apprehended and imprisoned on several occasions but has always escaped, most recently in July of this year.
However, He tunneled his way out of a Mexican maximum-security prison and is still at large.