“10 Most Successful Drug Lords in the World”

Few figures are as notorious – or as filthy rich – as drug lords.

They make their money by smuggling illegal substances and terrorizing almost everyone less powerful than themselves.

Drug traffickers are often wanted for their crimes in several countries because much of their money is made by smuggling illegal drugs across borders.

So, how much money can these violent criminals make selling banned substances?

Today we will learn about 10 of the biggest drug lords in the world according to their drug based wealth and learn some unique facts about each one.

This German-Colombian drug lord helped co-found the infamous Medellin cartel, along with several other figures that make this list.

He first entered the criminal world by selling stolen vehicles in his father’s used car dealership.

In fact, it was while serving a prison sentence for selling stolen cars that Lehder decided drug dealing was his calling.

Despite revolutionizing the Colombian drug trade with mules and air travel, Lehder’s true dream was to lead a new Colombian neo-Nazi government.

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela

Alias: “El Ajedrecista” and “El Gino”

Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela’s moniker “El Ajedrecista” translates to “The Chess Player” in English and was given to him because of how carefully he considered all his moves.

He was a joint leader of the Cali cartel with his brother, Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela, before beginning his 30-year prison sentence in the United States.

Gilberto’s nephew, William Rodriguez Abadía, spoke out against the Netflix series “Narcos,” which he said misrepresented the true facts and damaged his reputation as a result.

Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha

Alias: “El Mexicano”

Earning himself the title of “No. 2 leader” of the same Medellin cartel that Carlos Lehder helped establish, Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha was one of the most wanted men in Colombia while at large.

Rodriguez Gacha was also on the US list of the dozen most wanted Colombian drug traffickers.

Rodriguez Gacha resisted arrest by the Colombian government and threw grenades in a shootout that killed himself and his 17-year-old son Freddy.

Location: Burma

Alias: Zhang Qifu, Chan Changtrakul

Originally born Zhang Qifu, this notorious drug kingpin received military training from the Kuomintang and the Burmese army before becoming independent and establishing himself as the “Opium King” of Myanmar.

He dominated the Golden Triangle, controlled up to 70% of the heroin trade and became one of the most wanted men in the world in 1990.

This “King of the Golden Triangle” changed his name to Khun Sa to reflect his trading power and maternal heritage, as the name means “Prince Prosperous” in the Burmese Shan dialect.

Ochoa Vasquez Brothers

Alias: The Medellin Cartel

Alias: The Medellin Cartel

Fabio Ochoa Restrepo may have had a healthy background in the family’s restaurant and cattle ranching business, but that didn’t stop his sons Juan David, Jorge Luis and Fabio from ending up in the drug trade.

Juan David, the eldest, enlisted the help of his two brothers to help establish the infamous Medellín Cartel.

He surrendered himself in 1991 and served only five years.

Fabio, the youngest of the three brothers, spent the 1970s and 1980s handling thousands of pounds of cocaine.

Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar

Location: India

Alias: Aziz Abdul and Dawood Memon

Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar is currently the most wanted criminal in India, with a $25 million reward offered for his capture.

He goes by a total of 21 different aliases and is suspected of being involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 1993 and 2008.

In addition to his plethora of other dubious activities, Kaskar has been suspected and accused of funding Pakistani Taliban militants, although Pakistan claims no knowledge of his whereabouts and a lack of evidence.

Alfredo Beltran Leyva

Alias: “El Mochomo”

Alfredo Beltran Leyva smuggled tons of methamphetamine and cocaine from South America and Mexico into the United States.

Along with his brother Arturo, he became known as one of the most wanted drug traffickers in Mexico.

Arturo was killed in a shooting in 2009, but Alfredo continued his reign of terror until 2017 when he was sentenced to life in prison.

Levya’s forfeiture amount was determined based on a lenient estimate of the value of the cocaine he smuggled to the US border.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes

Location: Mexico

Location: Mexico

Alias: “El Señor de Los Cielos”

Amado Carrillo Fuentes was known for his brutality after murdering his boss, Rafael Aguilar Guajardo, and taking control of the Juárez Cartel.

In addition to his drug-related crimes, he also laundered money through Colombia to finance his fleets.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes was the first drug kingpin to use private planes to traffic cocaine around the world, earning him his nickname “El Señor de Los Cielos” or “Lord of the Sky.”

Location: Jamaica

Alias: Dudus, Paul Christopher Scott, Presi, President, General, Shortman and Omar Clark

Following in the footsteps of his father Christopher Coke, founder of the notoriously violent Shower Posse, this Jamaican drug lord sold vast quantities of cocaine, marijuana and firearms.

But alongside his criminal activities, he established programs to help poor members of society.

He received so much support from the community that capturing him in Kingston, Jamaica was a harrowing five-week ordeal with many casualties.

Christopher Coke’s attitude in court in 2012 was remarkably unapologetic, saying “I plead guilty because I am,” before being sentenced to his 23-year sentence.

Pablo Escobar

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Drug money earned: $30 billion

Location: Colombia

Location: Colombia

Location: Colombia

Location: Colombia

Location: Colombia

Year of birth: 1949

Alias: Don Pablo, El Padrino, El Patrón, El Señor, El Mágico, El Pablito and El Zar de la Cocaína

Pablo Escobar was the biggest drug lord in the world in terms of drug revenue.

This Colombian Drug Kingpin, easily the most famous co-founder of the Medellin Cartel, had ambitions to become President of Colombia.

Pablo Escobar’s accountant claimed he was spending $2,500 a month on nothing more than the rubber bands needed to wrap his staggering amount of illegal cash.

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