Drugs dealing is one of the deadliest, riskiest, most unsafe but quickest way of making a lot of money. People who have engaged in real time drug smuggling in the past and present have used this medium to amass a lot of wealth for themselves and family that would last them a lifetime or even more.
It is one profession you do not need a college degree or any degree to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful persons on earth, but it is also the kinda profession where people are trying to kill you every day, and if you manage to escape that, you are hunted for by the DEA.
Drug dealers in the past are known to be notorious, deadly and cunning, leaving no chances to anyone or anything that could affect their business, as there is always competition for power and who gains the larger share of the market. So, who are the wealthiest drug dealers of all time? We have compiled a list of 16 of the richest and deadliest drug kingpins, and you’ll be shocked by their various estimated net worth.
The 16 Richest Drug Dealers of all Time
16. José Figueroa Agosto – Net Worth: $100 Million
José Figueroa Agosto also is known as “José David Figueroa Agosto”, “Junior Capsula” and “the Don Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean” is a Puerto Rican
drug trafficker and smuggler, born June 28, 1964. He is the head of a major drug trafficking organization that made 90% of cocaine in Puerto Rico.
Considered to be one of the most dangerous drug dealers of Puerto Rico, José Figueroa Agosto is number one on the most wanted fugitive in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He is married and is a father of four.
15. Paul Lir Alexander – Net Worth: $170 Million
Paul Lir Alexander is the richest drug dealers in Brazil having a net worth of over $170 million. Also known as El Parito Loco, Paul Lir Alexander was born in Santa Catarina in 1956, he later joined military service in the Israeli Army and the Mossad. It is rather ironic to know that this drug lord once worked as an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) before becoming the leader of a drug-smuggling ring in Brazil.
Alexander was arrested in 1993 by the DEA and spent 17 years in prison. After he was released from jail, He was arrested again in Brazil, and sentenced to 42 years’ imprisonment before disappearing while on a temporary release from a Brazilian prison in 2010.
14. Zhenli Ye Gon – Net Worth: $300 Million
Born January 31, 1963, in Shanghai, China, Zhenli Ye Gon is a Chinese-Mexican businessman currently under suspicion of trafficking pseudoephedrine or ephedrine precursor chemicals into Mexico from Asia. Ye Gon became a Mexican citizen in 2002 and is a highly recognized wealthy businessman in Mexico, and having no criminal records. He was alleged to be a member of the Sinaloa Cartel, but he denied all allegations of the fact.
However, in October of 2016, Ye Gon was extradited to Mexico, after nine years of fighting extradition to Mexico from an American prison.
13. Joseph Kennedy – Net Worth: $400 Million
Joseph Kennedy was an American businessman, politician, and investor, but what you didn’t know was that he was also one of the most notorious criminals of all time. He used his connections and wealth to increase his net worth by millions during his forbode. Like any other drug baron, Kennedy sold a bootleg of alcohol to people who weren’t allowed to have it.
It was also alleged that he once raped a woman so he could frame someone else to eliminate the competition. He was friends with some of the most dangerous and most influential drugs and crime families in the world.
12. Rafael Caro Quintero – Net Worth: $650 Million
Rafael Caro Quintero was born on October 3, 1952. He is a Mexican drug trafficker and a co-founder of the now-disintegrated Guadalajara Cartel with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and other drug traffickers in the 1970s. He is the brother of a fellow drug trafficker, Miguel Caro Quintero, the founder and former leader of the defunct Sonora Cartel.
Also known as “Narco of Narcos”, Rafael Caro Quintero was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, Camarena’s pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar, the American writer John Clay Walker, and dentistry student Alberto Radelat in 1985. He is currently wanted by the U.S, Mexico and several other countries with a huge $20 million bounty for his arrest.
11. Joaquín Loera AKA Chapo Guzman – Net Worth: $1 Billion
Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera A.K.A “El Chappo” is a Mexican drug dealer and former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international crime syndicate.
He was once seen as the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world. Born 4 April 1957, Guzmán was raised in a poor farming family and endured physical abuse at the hands of his father. He began his drug trafficking during his early adulthood through his father by growing marijuana for local dealers. He founded his own drug cartel in 1988 as the leader of the dreadful Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzman managed the operations of his cartel and was producing massive tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin, smuggling them into and distributed throughout the United States and Europe, the world’s largest users.
10. Al Capone – Net Worth: $1.3 Billion
Al Capone, famously known as ‘Scarface’, was an American gangster and businessman born January 17, 1899, in New York City, the U.S. He served an 11-year sentence in Atlanta U.S. Penitentiary and Alcatraz. Al Capone was branded “Public Enemy No. 1”. after the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, in which seven gang rivals were murdered in broad daylight. This terrible act damaged Chicago’s and Capone’s image.
On January 25, 1947, Capone died of cardiac arrest after suffering a stroke.
9. Griselda Blanco Net Worth: $2 Billion
This Columbian and cocain-godmother is the only woman to have made it to our list of wealthiest druglords of all time. Be advised that she is as wealthy, influential and also deadly as the other drug kingpins. Also known as La Madrina, the Black Widow and the Queen of Narco-Trafficking, Griselda Blanco was the drug dearler of the Medellín Cartel and a pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine drug trade and underworld during the 1980s, all the way to the early 2000s.
She even has a movie made to tell her story. It will shock you to know that she was responsible for up to 200 murders while transporting cocaine from Colombia to New York, Miami and Southern California. She was shot and killed on September 3, 2012, at the age of 69.
8. Carlos Lehder – Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
Now serving Life imprisonment since 1987, plus 135 years, Carlos Lehder was the founder of the Neo-Nazi Political Party, the National Movement as it’s also called, whose main function according to the Colombian police force, is to force Colombia to abrogate its extradition treaty with the United States. He was born September 7, 1949, in Armenia, Colombia.
He was a Drug trafficker for the Medellín Cartel and a prominent member of the MAS. ‘MAS’ stands for “Muerte a Secuestradores”, a paramilitary group whose focus was to retaliate against the kidnappings of cartel members and their families by the guerrillas.
Carlos Lehder is considered to be one of the most important Colombian drug kingpins to have been successfully prosecuted in the United States.
7.The Orejuela Brothers – Net Worth: $3 Billion
Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, famously known as the Orejuela brothers were Colombia’s second largest smugglers of cocaine into the United States. After the death of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s, the became the biggest smugglers of cocaine into the states and were bringing in billions of dollars yearly, cornering over 90% of the cocaine market internationally.
At the height of the Cali Cartel’s ‘success’ in 1996, Gilberto was captured and sentenced to fifteen years. The two brothers were both sentenced to 30 years in prison and an additional 87 months for money laundering after their security guard played an informant to the DEA. On a plea bargain, immunity was granted for 29 members of the Orejuela family who were implicated in the illegal drug trade.
6. Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha – Net Worth: $5 Billion
Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha is one Colombian druglord that is most fascinated for his love for Mexican culture, earning him the title ‘El Mexicano’. He is a member of the dreaded Medellin Cartel in Bogota, Colombia. His title was further fitting because of the smuggling routes that
Gacha controlled ran from Mexico to the United States. Gacha has a number of cocaine labs set up in different parts of the jungles of Colombia.
There he has hundreds of his workers who live and manufactured cocaine.
In 1998, Gacha was listed on Forbes’ list of billionaires but was shot and killed a year later by the police.
5. Khun Sa – Net Worth: $5 Billion
Khun Sa A.K.A ‘Opium King’, was the King of the heroin empire. He operated the biggest and largest heroin empire the world had ever seen. During the 70s and 80s, 90% of the heroin in New York City was being smuggled from the Golden Triangle in Asia. The triangle that spread across Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand were headed by Khun Sa, the who had unified a large portion of the region with the help of his drug-funded private army.
It was reported that in the late 90s, Jhun Sa offered to sell his Opium empire to the Australian government for $50 million a year over 8 years, which would have ended the heroin trade in Australia. But the government refused, on the grounds that they wouldn’t pay a criminal.
He later proposed the sale to the U.S, who also rejected the offer. Reports have it that Khun Sa gave himself up to the Burmese Authorities in 1996, but was never extradited. He went on to live a normal life and peaceful life in Rangoon before he later passed away in 2007 of natural death.
4. The Ochoa Brothers – Net Worth: $6 Billion
In 1991, the Ochoa brothers became wanted by the law enforcement authorities after they became suspects in the death of cartel pilot-turned-informant Barry Seal. They all surrendered to the authorities in 1991 and thanks to a plea bargain, they only served six years in incarceration.
After their release, much wasn’t heard of them again until 1999, where the youngest of the brothers, Fabio Ochoa was arrested and sent to jail for drug smuggling.
3. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar – Net Worth: $6.7 Billion
Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is the leader of organized crime ring ‘D-Company’, whose operations includes counterfeiting, drug dealing, extortions and arms deal trades. Born 26 December 1955, he is a Mumbai underworld criminal mobster and drug dealer originally from Dongri in Mumbai, India.
He is ranked as the third richest drug dealers in the world and a global terrorist, alleged to be linked with Osama Bin Laden. D-Company is rumored to fund the Indian film industry or ‘Bollywood’. He is currently wanted by Interpol for his involvement in organized crime, but his current whereabouts are yet unknown.
2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Net Worth: $25 Billion
Amando Carillo was a Mexican drug Dealers and was among the top drug traffickers in Mexico. He was popularly known as “El Señor de Los Cielos” (“The Lord of the Skies”), because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs. Known for transporting tons of cocaine to several municipal airports and dirt airstrips in Mexico, via 22 private 727 jet airliners, his wealth, though unknown, was rumoured to have grown to the tune of $25.
Before his death in 1997, Carillo was highly tracked by the Mexican and U.S government. As a means evade arrest, he had plastic surgery and underwent liposuction. But he died during his operation.
1.Pablo Emilio Gaviria Escobar – Net worth: $30 Billion
Pablo Emilio Gaviria Escobar is the richest drug dealer of all time. There’s no argument when it comes to who the richest drug dealers of all time are, or was, as the case may be without a mention of ‘El Patrons’ name.
He is the king of kings in the world of drug trafficking. Even those who have no interest in the shocking world of international drug trafficking knows his name. Pablo Escober was not only stinking rich but was very influential and very dangerous. He even had a special military force name “Search Bloc” created to hunt him down by the Colombian government.
He was eventually hunted down and killed by the search bloc with the help of the American Authorities. During his time, Forbes magazine estimated that Pablo Escobar controlled over 80 % of the cocaine business globally. Although he was a heartless killer, Pablo Escobar had a soft spot for his family. In fact, at one time he burned over $1 million cash to keep his young daughter warm when he was running from the police.
Now you know why he is at number spot for the richest druglords of all time. No drug trafficker alive is yet to reach the milestone in which Pablo crossed, a $30 billion dollar drug empire. Even in death, he remains the worlds’ wealthiest drug kingpin.