By Cameron Frew
(UNILAD) – Hidden away in the wall of one of Pablo Escobar’s houses, his nephew found a plastic bag of money worth $18 million.
The infamous Colombian drug cartel leader died in a police shootout back in 1993. However, his life has been a source of great fascination for filmmakers and journalists alike ever since, explored in the likes of Netflix’s Narcos with fresh stories emerging to this day.
Ever since his death, rumours and myths have surrounded the totality of the kingpin’s wealth – at his peak, Escobar was said to be the seventh-richest person in the world.
Nicolás Escobar has been living in his apartment in the city of Medellín for the past five years, previous home to his historic uncle. Thanks to a ‘vision’, he knew exactly where to look for the drug lord’s stash. However, after decaying over the past two-and-a-half decades, the smell was horrible.
Nicolás told Colombian TV channel Red+ Noticias:
EVERY TIME I SAT IN THE DINING ROOM AND LOOKED TOWARDS THE CAR PARK, I SAW A MAN ENTERING THE PLACE AND DISAPPEARING. THE SMELL [INSIDE] WAS ASTONISHING. A SMELL 100 TIMES WORSE THAN SOMETHING THAT HAD DIED.
In addition to the $18 million (£14 million) in cash, Nicolás also found a typewriter, satellite phones, gold pen, a camera and a film roll yet to be developed.
This isn’t the first time he’s found a hoard of cash that Escobar previously hid from the authorities. However, some of the banknotes are damaged and unusable.
During the same interview, Nicolás recalled his relationship with Escobar as his uncle was working. In one instance, he was kidnapped by people trying to discover the cartel leader’s whereabouts.
He explained, as per BBC News: ‘I was tortured for seven hours. Two of my workers were attacked with a chainsaw.’
Escobar, who also went by ‘El Patron’, first founded the Medellín Cartel in 1973, specialising in the distribution of cocaine. By the 1980s, it’s estimated that he was shipping between 70 and 80 tons of powder to the US every month, causing deadly rifts between rival producers.
Colombia eventually became the murder capital of the world. Escobar’s cartel is said to be responsible for around 5,000 killings between 1989 and 1993 alone.
At its most active, the gang reportedly supplied around 80% of cocaine smuggled into the US. Escobar’s wealth saw him sit comfortably on Forbes’ list of global billionaires for seven years.
While escaping extradition and fighting against authorities for years, he was arrested in 1991. However, he was housed in a self-designed prison called the Cathedral where he chose his own inmates and continued to run cartel operations behind bars. He later escaped and was killed by police following a nationwide manhunt.