How the Richest Criminals Made Billions of Dollars

How the Richest Criminals Made Billions of Dollars


They say crime doesn’t pay, but of course
it does, otherwise people wouldn’t do it. Crime can pay, and it can pay a lot. More money even than a person could actually
spend in a lifetime. It just so happens that crime also often leads
to fines, prison, and or death, so it’s a risky way to make a living. The UN reports that the amount of “dirty
money” that is made through criminal enterprises is between $800 billion and $2 trillion anually. Today we are going to look at some of the
crime world’s biggest earners from the near past to the present day. The numbers given are of course estimates,
because criminals are not usually in the habit of filing tax returns, but we feel pretty
confident in the numbers nonetheless. We’ll start with the poorest of these filthy
rich criminals and finish with the king of the underworld. 12. Tse Chi Lop
This Chinese-Canadian man is still in business as we speak. He is sometimes called Asia’s El Chapo,
and is said to be the head of a multi-national crime syndicate that goes by the name of “Sam
Gor”, or “The Company.” This company controls about 40 percent of
the methamphetamine market in the Asia-Pacific region, but it involves many, many drug kingpins
from those who own super-labs in Myanmar, to gangsters who ensure the product travels
to its destinations. They traffic other illegal substances, too. Many gangs are involved, including Hong Kong
Triad gangs and Australian outlaws such as the Comanchero Motorcycle Club. The Japanese Yakuza also have some fingers
in this big fat illegal pie. How do we know Tse Chi Lop sits in the big
seat? Well, that’s what the cops think. He is said to run this network very professionally. Of course they deal in violence, but the money
is so good the people in the network prefer to run things without trying to draw too much
attention to themselves. So, how much does the boss have? That’s anyone’s guess, but word on the
street is Sam Gor is raking in about $17 billion a year. We expect Mr. Tse Chi Lop to be a billionaire
by now. He’s got private jets and doesn’t go anywhere
without his team of bodyguards, all of them trained in martial arts. He sounds like one of those villains from
a James Bond movie. And get this, in just one night in a Macau
casino he lost $66 million. Crime is paying for him, but the cops say
it’s only a matter of time until he is caught. 11. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán
From Asia’s El Chapo to the real El Chapo. This former head of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel
was at one point the 10th richest man in Mexico and worth one billion. He started off as a kid growing marijuana
and then in his later years he became a drug trafficker who moved all kinds of substances. No doubt a lot of drug users in the United
States and Europe back in the day had some of his product. He was so big he was compared to some of the
world’s biggest drug kingpins, and that’s why an $8.8 million reward was offered for
information that would lead to his arrest after he escaped from prison the first time. Yep, the first time, because as many of you
will know, El Chapo got out a second time with the use of tunnels. He’s now locked up in the U.S. Did the drugs stop flooding into the U.S.
and Europe after that? Nope, not at all. The drug trade is still flourishing and bodies
are still piling up. You can almost hear the criminals in Mexico
shouting, “The King is dead, long live the king.” Someone somewhere has taken over El Chapo’s
business and is likely deserving to be on this list. Unfortunately, when you take out a kingpin,
the princes tend to fight for his place. 10. Susumu Ishii
You are now probably thinking “Who?” Mr. Ishii might be unknown to you and you
haven’t yet seen the movie about him, but it’s thought his net worth was about $1.5
billion. Much of that money was made in crime since
this man was the Godfather of the Japanese Inagawa-kai yakuza gang. We say “much” of that money because the
yakuza gangs are known for making big bucks in legal businesses as well as in the underworld. He once said this about criminality, “We
cannot succeed in the yakuza world unless we are active and aggressive until our early
forties. After that, we have to adapt our lives to
ordinary society. We cannot always be so forceful.” One of his legitimate businesses was a golf
course he built, and a very luxurious one at that. Membership was 100-200 thousand dollars, and
he apparently had many members. In fact, he made many millions from his investments
and at one point was called the world’s richest gangster. People use to say everything that he touched
turned to gold. He retired as Godfather and when he died in
1991 over 6,000 people showed up to his funeral. And here’s a fact for you, a Mr. Prescott
Bush was on this man’s payroll at one point. That’s the older brother of former President
George Bush. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
said it was all legal business, but helping out formidable Japanese gangsters wasn’t
a good look for Prescott. A Japanese Yakuza expert told the LA Times,
“Being connected to the President’s family increases the gang’s prestige.” 9. Griselda Blanco
From the Godfather to a woman known as The Godmother, well, when she was alive. She died in 2012. Back in the 80s and 90s she helped flood the
streets of the USA with the drug called cocaine. Sometimes called The Black Widow, she went
from petty crime in Colombia’s city of Medellin to becoming the Godmother. She played a part in a lot of vice that went
down in the city of Miami, and she had a violent way of doing business and living life. Hence she got the name the Black Widow. When she was in court it was revealed that
she had killed three of her husbands, as well as scores of innocent people she just didn’t
like. After a confrontation in a nightclub with
someone she didn’t like, this is what The Guardian newspaper wrote, “After a blazing
gun battle he and six bodyguards lay dead. Blanco, who suffered only a minor gunshot
wound to the stomach, recovered and soon afterwards moved to Miami, where her body count – and
reputation for ruthlessness – continued to climb.” For her work she ended up doing a lot of prison
time in the USA, and then in 2012 she was shot down after buying some meat at a butcher’s
in Medellin. It’s thought her net worth had been as high
as $2 billion. 8. Carlos Lehder
The U.S. Department of Justice said this guy was worth about $2.7 billion, which isn’t
bad considering the fact he started out in business as a man who dealt in stolen cars
in the USA. You might have seen his story depicted in
the Johnny Depp movie called, “Blow.” That was about a cocaine smuggler named George
Jung. He hooked up with Lehder and that’s how
he met the Medellin cartel and got into cocaine smuggling. The two trafficked hundreds of kilos of Pablo
Escobar’s white powder into the USA and got incredibly rich doing it. Lehder is now 70 years old and lives in a
U.S. prison, quite different from the time he pretty much turned an island in the Bahamas
into his very own luxury fortress. 7. Leona Helmsley
It’ about time we had a white collar criminal on this list, and this woman was known as
the “Queen of Mean.” She was a businesswoman, but it seems she
didn’t much like paying her taxes. In fact, she once said, “We don’t pay taxes;
only the little people pay taxes.” She also didn’t pay contractors at times
when she spent millions renovating one of her many properties. She eventually got 16 years for tax evasion,
but only ended up serving nineteen months. After her husband died, he left his empire
to her, and that included properties of great value such as the Empire State Building. So, if she had sold everything she would have
been worth more billions. After she died in 2007 a lonely woman, she
left $12 million to a dog named Trouble. We are not sure what the dog did with the
cash. Her estate was said to be worth $4 billion. 6. Khun Sa
If you travel in northern Thailand to a small town called “Thoed Thai” on the Myanmar
border you’ll find a museum dedicated to a man named Khun Sa. That translates as Prince Prosperous and you
might say this prince ran things on the frontiers of the Wild East. Outside that museum there’s a grand statue
of him on a horse, and if you chat with locals you’ll hear a lot of nice things said about
him. That’s because his drug empire worth around
$5 billion funded schools, hospitals, and an army fighting for the liberation of the
Shan State in Myanmar. Dubbed the “Opium King”, he worked out
of what’s called the Golden Triangle, an area that intersects Thailand, Myanmar and
Laos. This opium was turned into heroin and if you
did that stuff in the 1970s to the 1990s there is a good chance it came from him. He controlled about half of the world’s
heroin trade. The U.S. detested him and he was an enemy
number one, but how do you arrest a man who commands a large army and can hide out in
the hills on the Thai-Burmese border? Even the locals would protect him, so he wasn’t
an easy man to arrest, not even with a $2 million bounty on his head. That’s because he helped the people. In fact, he told the United Nations that he
would eradicate his opium crops, but he wanted the UN to invest money in foreign aid. He also asked for money so the people could
substitute their crops for other crops, as well as some cash for healthcare and education. Even today this area is very poverty stricken. The U.S. said no, we don’t do deals with
drug dealers. That’s blackmail. Khun Sa later retired, and while many attempts
were made to arrest him, he was never caught. He died an old man. It’s thought his net worth was about $5
billion at one point. They still honor him up in Thoed Thai and
he is one of the reasons a lot of people have running water and electricity. They didn’t see the many junkies in the
streets of London and New York, so he is all good to them. 5. Viktor Bout
This Russian man has been called “The Merchant of Death”, and that’s because he’s one
of the most notorious arms smugglers the world has ever known. That enterprise might have earned him in the
region of $6 billion. He made headlines when he was arrested in
Thailand in 2008. He has since been extradited to the USA and
is currently imprisoned there. He has quite the resume. Bout is very intelligent, that’s for sure. He speaks many languages fluently, including
Russian, English, Portuguese, French, Arabic and Persian. He started out in the Soviet Armed Forces
and later built an air freight business. This line of work turned into arms trafficking
and he worked with a lot of countries and armed factions fighting inside countries. Since he has armed so many people the U.S.
Department of Justice sees him as a terrorist, although Bout doesn’t feel that way. He believes he’s being held as a political
prisoner. He once said that gun shop owners in the USA
do exactly the same job as he did. 4. Dawood Ibrahim
If you somehow managed to give some information that led to the arrest of this guy, you yourself
would get rich because the reward is $25 million. He might be worth around $7 billion. What does Dawood do? We use the present tense because he’s still
in business and living the life of a free man. He is the head of the D-Company, which is
an organized crime outfit in Mumbai, India, but spans the world. The FBI has him on the list of “The World’s
10 Most Wanted Fugitives” and he’s accused of…well, you name it. Murder, Extortion, Drug Trafficking, Assassinations
and Terrorism. Where he is, is up for speculation. He might be in Pakistan, he might not. He’s an invisible man, but behind the scenes
he has his fingers in a lot of crime pies in South Asia. 3. Semion Mogilevich
This man is in what’s sometimes called the Russian mafia. But he’s the boss, the boss of bosses, the
one and only, and he’s a free man in Moscow. The FBI doesn’t much like that fact and
has called him the most dangerous mobster in the entire world. If we listed all the things he has been accused
of this video would be an hour long, but suffice to say, he is alleged to have committed all
the worst kinds of crimes but on an international scale. What does he get for his enterprises? It’s thought about $10 billion. 2. Amado Carrillo Fuentes
Here’s the Mexican drug lord you might not have heard of, but you may have heard how
he died. That’s because he was undergoing surgery
to change the way he looked when it happened. The U.S. and Mexico were after this man, a
guy behind much of the drug trafficking industry that stretched around the world. That’s why he needed to change his face. The surgeons by the way were tortured and
killed for their part in his death. Carrillo was about as big as you can get,
and before there was the likes of El Chapo there was him. It’s thought he might have made $25 billion
in total, for moving that devil’s dandruff from Colombia, through Mexico, and into the
USA. 1. Pablo Escobar
There’s only one king of cocaine, and he is named Pablo Escobar. He’s been dead a long time, but still runs
things on Netflix. We expect many of you feel you know him very
well, because he’s the drug trafficker we can’t stop making movies and TV shows about. Escobar founded the notorious Medellín Cartel
and in the 70s and 80s he moved tons of cocaine into the United States. That earned him in the region of $30 billion,
making him one of the richest people in the world. He is responsible for countless deaths, the
ruin of families and entire neighborhoods, and the reason some people never seemed to
be able to quit talking about themselves at parties while intermittently sneaking off
to the restroom. His empire wasn’t exactly a smooth business
to run, and through competition and avoiding the law the number of lives lost could equal
that of a war. While his line of work led to a lot of blood-spilled,
like Khun Sa he won some people over because he put some of his wealth into poor communities. He got involved in petty crime as a kid but
in his twenties he was making millions. He was about 26-years old when he started
trafficking large amounts of cocaine into the USA. When he was shipping the largest quantities,
as much as 51,000 pounds (23,000 kg) could go in one shipment. The cartel during its heyday was making about
$70 million a day. They even spent $1000 a week on rubber bands
that were used to wrap around the bundles of cash. Escobar was killed by police when he was 44. Some criminals in Colombia are still raking
in the cash. The U.S. State Department said in 2017 that
Colombia still remains a major player and that in that year use and availability of
the stuff in the U.S. was on the rise again after a fall. We’ve got an even better idea than you taking
up a life of crime and that’s clicking on this great video right here, or making an
even smarter decision and clicking on this other amazing video over here!

100 Replies to “How the Richest Criminals Made Billions of Dollars”

  1. The Comanchero Motorcycle Club is now very low on numbers and isn’t as “threat” anymore because most have been arrested but the Outlaws still prevail

  2. Leona Hemsley is a criminal but she did not get her wealth from crime. I don't think she should be included in this list.

  3. Lester is looking at top shot crims saying “pfft I robbed the Pacific standard bank,union depository and the casino such amatuers”

  4. The short answer to this question is through the exploitation of the proletariat and the theft of resources and land

  5. There you go I heard what I needed to hear. The first 10 seconds of this episode has convinced me to join the Russian mob.

  6. Try being a criminal in the Philippines. Not gonna happen. Oh wait I take it back. Duterte is the biggest hypocritical president that ever existed. Nvm lol

  7. Hi guys, I know im not supposed to do this but

    I really wanna grow my channel,youtube has always

    been a goal in my bucket list,so please just

    hit my profile and subcribe or like watch a video

    it will really help me out!

  8. how do you blame the people making the drugs for other people wanting to take drugs, there is demand, there is supply blaming it on the supply rather on the system that treats addicted people like criminals is very dumb if you think about it

  9. The United Nations should've accepted Khun Sa's deal. Feed the Wolf, and it Won't Go Hunting. And as for Victor, I doubt he qualifies as a terrorist. This is because the word means "a person who terrorizes or frightens others".

  10. Small Peanuts compared to how much Hunter Biden and others like him make from corruption in Ukraine, Russia, and China.

  11. How is getting High in space different than getting high on earth? Are the affects increased or decreased? Is this even possible? How dose it affect you?

  12. If you live in a poor country selling drugs to richer countries Is A!! Okay In my book (^^)/"… Let us all partéééy!!!

  13. Wow all of these rich criminals are kingpins or great strategists but I don't want to be the richest criminal if I was one.

  14. Why did you put 17B per year on the bottom of the list? Also, I think you're definitely wrong. That would make him the wealthiest person in history

  15. Disliked and unsubbed, how could you made a video on "How the Richest Criminals Made Billions of Dollars" but leave out Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerburg

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