Pablo Escobar, the Robin Hood of Medellin, Colombia had quite a rodent problem.
Credit: http://oasiscollections.com/5-pretty-awesome-things-to-do-in-medellinEscobar died, in a gun battle in 1993, a day after his birthday, at age 44. At age 39, Pablo was a billionaire. The head of the Medellin drug cartel, Forbes wrote an article about him, estimating his net worth at about $3 billion dollars. All this money, or most of it, was earned via the cocaine trade. The Medellin cartel controlled almost three quarters of the world’s cocaine trade. Pablo Escobar was a very wanted man by both Colombian and U.S. officials.
Having all this money earned through crime, created a unique problem for Escobar- He had too much cash.
Pablo, non-trusting of bankers, tried to avoid depositing to much of his money in one particular bank, and finding plenty of bankers who would take his money was a challenge in itself. The danger with the banks was that Escobar had no legal actions against a bank who would “lose” his money. Of course the fear of loosing Pablo Escobar’s money certainly was enough for bankers to ensure its safety, but bankers themselves were not to happy with the idea of holding a drug king pins wealth. What if Pablo was arrested? The accounts could be frozen, or taken by government agencies. There was just too much risk for both parties.
So, Pablo came up with ways to, lets say store his cash. For one, he spent a lot. In his village and community Pablo was considered a Robin Hood. Drug money was used to build hospitals, schools, churches, and better the overall infrastructure. He lived on a 5,500-acre estate equipped with an airstrip, statues of dinosaurs, a safari of exotic animals such as elephants, zebras, giraffes, and a few hippopotamuses. Even with buying all the pleasures money can buy, Pablo Escobar still had too much damn money.
So what did he do? He had trusted people, role up wads of $100 bills and store them in a Credit: www.amazon.comwarehouse. Roberto Escobar, the brother and top accountant for Pablo, wrote in a memoir "The Accountant's Story", that he had spend $2,500 a month on rubber bands alone - Rubber bands to role up those wads of cash. That’s roughly $30,000 a year for rubber bands!
And here come the rats! Columbia, like so many other countries have a rat problem. Rats would frequent the warehouse, to nibble on those wads of cash. Every night rats would lavishly feast on US currency. Which cost Pablo Escobar roughly 10% of his wealth.
That is quite an expensive rodent problem!