Gangsters and leaders of the criminal underworld have always had feuds with the government and authorities because of their illegal businesses. Most of these are drug lords and have grown to become legends due to their established connections which helped them to evade prison and make their wealth. Here is the list of top 10 richest gangsters in the world in 2018.
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10. Frank Lucas
He dealt heroin in the states of New Jersey and New York and was notorious in the 1960s and 1970s. He capitalised off this trade by using his reach and connections in eastern Asia during the times of war in Vietnam. He was originally from North Carolina and ran his heroin trade empire by employing his own family members. It is said that Lucas was capable of trading 1 million dollars worth of heroin in his prime time and had a net worth of $52 million on top of few other liquid assets. He was one of the most dangerous and unique drug dealers of the time as he sold heroin using the coffins of the US martyred soldiers and yet has served only 12 years of his time in the prison.
9. Joaquin El Chapo
El Chapo is one of the most notorious drug lords in Mexico and is the head of the Sinaloa cartel which was known to trade billions worth of drugs. Through this empire, El Chapo earned wealth worth $5 billion and has even made it into the Forbes top 1000 wealthiest people in the world. He was first detained in the year 1993 after becoming one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals and later escaped prison in the year 2003. Although he was later arrested again in 2014 and is now held captive in person currently.
8. Carlos Lehder
The South American continent has remained the fulcrum for most of the drug cartels and Lehder was the founder of one of the most notorious cartel of them all, the Colombian Medellin cartel. Lehder and his prison mate George Jung together ran the import of cocaine from Colombia and distributed it into the United States. The cocaine trade made him so rich that he owned his own island in the Bahamas and offered to pay off his country’s debts. The kingpin of cocaine business in Colombia has an estimated net worth of $3 billion dollars. He was later arrested in the US soil and was sentenced to life in prison though later he struck a deal for a reduced sentence.
7. Joseph Kennedy
He is the patriarch of one of America’s most powerful and prestigious families. One of his sons grew up to become the president of the country while other occupied prestigious political positions in the country. He ran the underground liquor network and made a huge fortune of it after it was made illegal. His net worth was estimated to be in $300 million in the year 1954. His great wealth and fame made the base for his criminal underworld.
6. Pablo Escobar
He is hands-down the most notorious drug lord of the modern times who ran the Medellin cartel which handled most of the cocaine imports and trade in the US. He made a great fortune due to the drug trade and became one of the most powerful men in the country through his contacts and bribes. He even made it to the Forbes top richest men in the world and was ranked 7th with a net worth of $25 billion but he was killed by Colombian forces after having tried to escape the Colombian prison.
5. Griselda Blanco
Griselda Blanco is the cocaine queen of Miami, Blanco ran the cocaine trade operations in the US in the 70’s and 80’s. She was also a drug lord for the Medellin cartel of Colombia. She ran her drug empire through violence and is said to have made billions of dollars out of it in her prime time. It is estimated that she acquired over $80 million of drug money and is listed to be one of the richest gangsters in the world.
4. Al Capone
Al Capone is a veteran of the drug and illegal trade business who happens to be the most notorious gangsters of all time. He controlled the illegal trade of alcohol, prostitution, and gambling during the prohibition in the 1930’s. He is also one of the richest gangsters of all time who amassed tremendous amounts of drug and illegal trade money. However, his wealth and connections were not enough to bribe the officials to prevent his arrest which eventually led to the downfall of his empire.
3. Anthony Salerno
Nicknamed Fat Tony, he made his fortune through drug trades in the East Harlem after most of the Italian mobs left the place. He was the frontman of the Genovese crime family who was also listed in the list of powerful men by the fortune magazine because of billion dollar wealth and connections. He was later arrested in 1988 and was sentenced to 70 years in prison.
2. Dawood Ibrahim
India’s national enemy, Dawood first started off with petty crimes and later worked his way up to become the undisputed head of the Mumbai criminal underworld. The irony of his life is that he is the son of a police constable, a law enforcer. After becoming a wanted man, he fled to Pakistan to seek asylum. He then started controlling the crime networks of Pakistan and the middle east. He was the mastermind behind the Mumbai bomb blasts. Now because of his connections with the Al- Qaeda, the Interpol has flagged him as one of the most wanted men in the world. He is now estimated to have $6.7 billion as his net worth and is the most notorious crime lords alive.
1. Amado Carrillo Fuentes
This drug lord was a very efficient one as he ran his drug empire efficiently than any other gangster. He has his own flight which he used to smuggle cocaine from Columbia to Mexico. In 1997 this man was listed as the richest man on the planet whose wealth was estimated at over $25 billion dollars. He was nicknamed as the lord of the skies because of his airborne trade methods. The most powerful drug trafficker of his era faced demise while undergoing plastic surgery in order to change his appearance.
These insanely rich drug lords and criminal leaders used their illegal trade money to buy their way out of the law and continue to run their empire. They proved the statement, “ crime never pays” to be gravely wrong.