Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar Gaviria was in a pinch when he and his family were hiding from authorities at a mountain hideout. He realized that his daughter Manuela was suffering from hypothermia, and he did not hesitate to burn the stacks of money worth up to US$2 million to keep her warm.
They also used the fire, fuelled using $2million dollars (£1.2 million) to prepare food.
Pablo Emilio Escobar’s immense wealth became problematic when he couldn’t launder his cash quickly enough. He resorted to stashing piles of cash in Colombian farming fields, dilapidated warehouses, and in the walls of cartel members’ homes, according to Roberto Escobar, the cartel’s chief accountant, and the kingpin’s brother, in his book “The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel.”
“Pablo was earning so much that each year we would write off 10% of the money because the rats would eat it in storage or it would be damaged by water or lost,” Escobar wrote.
At the height of his power in 1989, he was ranked the 7th richest man in the world by Forbes magazine with an estimated £18billion fortune.
While an enemy of the U.S. and Colombian governments, he was a hero to many in Medellin where he distributed money to the poor. He was nicknamed “Robin Hood” after handing out cash to the poor, building housing for the homeless, constructing 70 community soccer fields, and building a zoo.