Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria (December 1, 1949 – December 2, 1993) was a notorious Colombian drug lord who at the height of his career, supplied about 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the US. Known as “The King of Cocaine”, he was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated known net worth of US$30 billion by the early 1990s, and approximately US$50 billion when including money that was buried in different areas of Colombia.
At the height of its power, Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel was smuggling fifteen tons of cocaine (worth more than half a billion dollars) into the United States every single day. He made so much money that he had to spend $1000 per week purchasing rubber bands to wrap the stacks of cash.
Pablo had so much money that he could not possibly spend it all. He had over 800 luxury mansions all over Colombia, owned football teams, he gave away billions of dollars to help build hospital’s, schools, work programs and even rebuilt entire ghettos for the poverty stricken people of Colombia.
Even with all that going on, he still had too much cash to hide. So he started to bury it all over Colombia. The location of each money pit was known by only Pablo and his three closest associates.
When Pablo was finally killed, the location of many of these money pits died with him. The CIA estimates there to be about 100 of these money pits that have yet to be discovered, each containing between five hundred million to one billion dollars.
Fast forward to today. Meet Jose Mariena Cartolos, a 65 year old farmer who recently received a $3000 grant from the Colombian government to help him start a palm oil plantation on land that has been in his family for over 200 years.
While digging the irrigation trench for the plantation, Jose discovered something big beneath his feet. After further excavation, Jose discovered several large blue containers with something incredible inside.
Money, not just a few hundred dollars, not even a million dollars, heck not even 100 million dollars. This 65 year old farmer with nothing but the shirt on his back had managed to find one of Pablo Escobar’s money pit’s containing a whopping $600,000,000. Yup thats right, six hundred million dollars.
Its not clear what will happen to the money now, but many speculate that Jose Mariena Cartolos will not be allowed to keep the money, but it will most likely remain in Colombia and be used to fund social and economical programs that help those in poverty.
This news will most likely create a modern day “Gold Rush” as people flock to the Colombian countryside with echo sounders and all kinds of scanning equipment, searching for more of Pablo Escobar’s hidden money pits.
What would you do if you found this kind of money?