Drug Kingpin El Chapo Who Created a $12.6 Billion Empire, Now Complains of Discrimination in Jail
Fueled by drugs and guns, El Chapo's empire was worth billions
Joaquin Guzmán Loera aka El Chapo, former Mexican drug kingpin who established the infamous Sinaloa Drug Cartel, is reported a billionaire. Chapo is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado. Recently he wrote a letter to the New York Judge who sentenced him, which has sparked fresh concerns about Chapo plotting his latest escape, as per ABC7. Even though the letter contained nothing but Chapo’s complaints of “discriminatory” treatment, experts who studied the drug lord’s career are concerned, as the last time he complained of poor facilities and discrimination, he escaped from Altiplano maximum security federal prison in Mexico. However, authorities believe there is nothing to worry about, as the SuperMax prison is secured and nobody has ever broken out since its opening in 1994, as per the report. El Chapo was imprisoned for life in 2017 after being found guilty of drug trafficking and murder. Despite being locked away, the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel remains a billionaire and one of the world's most powerful drug traffickers. Here’s a look at his massive fortune, assets, and income from drug trafficking.
El Chapo’s net worth is still in the billions
For almost 30 years, El Chapo sold drugs to build a massive fortune, even making it onto the Forbes list of billionaires four times, from 2009 to 2012. Although his drug empire was once worth $12.6 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth, his current net worth is estimated to be $1 billion as of July 2023, despite being imprisoned for years.
El Chapo’s earnings from drug trafficking
As per a 2019 court filing, the federal prosecutors who convicted El Chapo put an actual estimate on his earnings, calculating the total amount, CNN reported. Prosecutors revealed that El Chapo's cartel handled nearly $11 billion worth of cocaine (600,000 kilograms), $11 million worth of heroin (200 kilograms), and nearly $846 million worth of Marijuana ( at least 420,000 kilograms) in 25 years.
El Chapo’s Assets
In his reign as one of the most powerful drug lords, Chapo made millions which he spent recklessly on passion projects and other luxury items. Chapo reportedly bought a pair of yachts, and a fleet of jets, and built a private zoo that had tigers, crocodiles, and panthers, according to a New York Post report.
Properties seized and auctioned
The total assets of El Chapo are still unknown. However, after his arrest, the Mexican government confiscated six homes out of which three were sold at an auction in 2019. Even though each property was expected to fetch $1 million or more the homes ultimately sold for $107,530, $64,589, and $55,725 respectively, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Further, Mexico’s ‘Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People’, known as INDEP put one of Chapo’s houses on sale with a starting bid of about $130,000. But the organization failed to make a sale as there were no offers. Also, the property where the Chapo hid after his dramatic escape from prison in 2016 was listed for approximately $102,102 (£80,000) in another auction by INDEP, as per The Sun UK. The auction by INDEP also listed two luxury ships and 24 different vehicles of El Chapo.
Details of assets given by witness testimonies
El Chapo reportedly owns multiple beach houses, including a $10 million property in Acapulco, as per a witness testimony, by his former manager, Miguel Angel Martinez, The New York Post reported. According to Martinez, he has splurged on a zoo, four planes, a yacht called “Chapito” and he once bought 50 vehicles including Thunderbirds, Buicks, and Cougars, which cost about $30,000 at the time, to give away to his men in the cartel.
El Chapo’s Diamond Encrusted Pistol
Chapo frequently boasted about his obsession with guns, according to another witness testimony by “El Rey” Zambada, a former lieutenant in Chapo’s cartel, CBS News reported. The drug lord’s favorite weapon was a blinged-out .38-caliber pistol engraved with his initials. The pistol carrying the initials has diamonds encrusted within it. As per the testimony, Chapo’s collection of weapons also included a bazooka, AK-47s, and other weapons as he relied on bloodshed and bribery to protect and amass his multibillion-dollar drug empire.
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