Drug smuggling is one of the illegal flourishing businesses around the globe after arms and human trafficking. When and how one turns into a drugs peddler and becomes a baron is a story which has many sides and hues. Lure of money and power makes a drug lord to crave for such a position from where he controls a maze of persons in the underworld.
These lords live in protective cocoons so that they are not reachable by the law so effortlessly and are therefore not easily brought to books. The top ten richest drug lords in the world in 2018 are listed below.
10. Ismael Zambada Garcia:
Born on 1st of January, 1948, Ismael is also known as El Mayo Zambada. He hails from Mexico and jointly headed the Sinaloa Cartel with El Chapo until 2016 when Chapo was captured. He has now assumed full command of the Cartel. He is involved in export of cocaine and heroin, Handguns into Chicago and other U.S. cities by all possible transportation including, submarine.
9. Richard Donnell Ross:
Born on 26th of January, 1960 in Troup, Texas, U.S., Richard Donnell Ross who is known as “Freeway” Rick Ross, is known for the drug empire he set up in Los Angeles, California, in the 1980s. He started selling cocaine and expensive guns since he was 19 years old after failing a college scholarship for playing tennis because of his illiteracy. Interestingly he has authored his autobiography in 2014. His net worth is $52 million.
8. George Jung:
Born on 6th of August, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., George Jacob Jung was involved in the cocaine trade in the U.S. in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was a part of the Medellin Cartel which was engaged in smuggling of huge amounts of cocaine from Columbia to the United States. His life was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the film Blow in 2001. He was released from prison in 2014 after 20 years of imprisonment for drug-smuggling. His net worth is $100 million.
7. Rafael Caro Quintero:
Rafael Caro Quintero was born on 3rd of October, 1952 in Mexico. He founded the now disintegrated Guadalajara Cartel with Miguel Gallardo and others in the 1970s, shipping large amounts of marijuana to the U.S. from Mexico. In 1985 he was sentenced to 40-years in prison for murder. He was freed from jail in 2013 but with pressure from the U.S. government for his re-arrest, an arrest warrant against him was issued. Right now he is one of the most wanted criminals in many countries including Mexico and U.S. His net worth is $650 million.
6. Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera:
Loera, also known as El Chapo or Shorty, because of his short stature, is one of the biggest drug lords He was leading the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico till recently. In Forbes magazine, he is the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011 with net worth of US$1 billion. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers him the godfather of the drug world. He was captured in 2016.
5. Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas:
Carlos Lehder, born on 11th of September, 1949, is a drug lord and co-founder of the Medellin Cartel. He was born in Armenia, Colombia. At, present he is serving imprisonment in the U.S. for a term of 55 years. He began his career by stealing luxury cars and dealing in marijuana and eventually went on to run a cocaine empire in the Bahamas. His net worth is $2.7 billion.
4. Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela:
He was born on 30th of January, 1939, in Mariquita, is a Colombian drug lord and ex-leader of the Cali Cartel. The Cali Cartel was formed by Gilberto and his brother Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela in the 1970s. They were mainly associated with marijuana trafficking. In the 1980s they also took to cocaine trafficking. The Cali Cartel supplied 80% of the U.S. and 90% of the European cocaine market. In September 2006, both Gilberto and Miguel were sentenced to prison for 30 years. Gilberto’s net worth is $3 billion.
3. Ochoa Vázquez Brothers:
Jorge Luis, Juan David, and Fabio were three brothers who along with some others formed the Medellin Cartel in Columbia. The Cartel smuggled tons of cocaine into countries all over the world and amassed vast profits. Compared to the Cali Cartel, it was involved in violence. The three brothers work together and have a net worth of $6 billion and have been moving in and out of prison.
2. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar:
Dawood Ibrahim was born on 26th of December, 1955 in Allahabad district in India. With his brother Shabir Ibrahim, he formed the D-Company in Mumbai. He allegedly heads an illegal empire in India and financed the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Since then he has become the most wanted man in India. Apart from drug peddling, he is involved in arms trafficking, one of the biggest threat to world -terrorism, and also of Bollywood financing etc. He was declared as a global terrorist by the U.S. and India. He is believed to be in hiding in Pakistan at present and currently on the wanted list of Interpol. His net worth is $6.7 billion.
1. Frank Lucas:
Born in North Carolina, USA in 1930, Frank Lucas expanded his hold in the international drug business from New York to South-east Asia. He broke the monopoly of the Italian mafia and made huge profits from illegal drugs and particularly heroin. His life has been dramatically depicted in the movie American Gangster played by Denzel Washington. His net worth is $52 billion.