The “war on drugs” hasn’t exactly stopped the drug game from being a solid and financially viable industry. According to estimates, drug trafficking is a $400 billion business.
Over the weekend Mexican officials arrested notorious cocaine trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, one of the last people at large on a short list of the world’s billionaire drug traffickers. Authorities nabbed Guzman hiding out inside a condominium in Mazatlan Saturday (Feb. 22) bringing to an end 14 years on the run.
Not unlike many of his kingpin counterparts, Guzman’s drug cartel crossed foreign waters; extending to more than 50 countries around the globe, including Africa and Europe. Although his capture could lead to violence in Mexico, bloodshed is the unfortunate price the country may have to pay for bringing down one of history’s most wanted drug dealers.
As the world’s top coke supplier, Columbia is perhaps the most well-known for its work in the illegal drug industry, but other regions have made substantial contributions over the years. For example, in 2007 Afghanistan produced 93 percent –or $4 billion worth –of the world’s opium poppy plants (used to make heroine). Other spots like the Bahamas, Brazil, and Burma, are all responsible for growing, and exporting millions of tons of marijuana, heroine, and cocaine.
So who are some of the drug dealers that aided in the global drug push? Hit the gallery to see our list of seven of the some of world’s richest drug dealers in history.