It’s a well-known fact that crime pays but exactly how much does it pay? Some of the richest people in the world have lived a life of crime and most of those have earned their fortune from drug dealing or smuggling. Let’s have a look at some of biggest earners below:

  • Frank Lucas was a drug dealer who earned roughly £43 million in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He is portrayed by Denzel Washington in the film, American Gangster
  • Nicky Barnes is similar to Frank Lucas in that he was a drug dealer in the 1970’s but whilst he made nearly double the amount of Lucas - £87 million - a film was not made about him
  • Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Leora is one of the richest criminals of all time and was well known for his arrest, his escape and then his recapture. El Chapo earned £828 million
  • Griselda Blanco was a major cocaine kingpin who earned over £1.6 billion. She is said to be one of the richest drug dealers ever – before she passed away in 2012
  • Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar dabbled in all kinds of illegal activities such as murder, terrorism and drug trafficking. He was the son of an Indian Police Officer and earned almost £5 billion
  • Christopher Coke took over the family drug business after his father passed away and made it into an empire. From Jamaica, he made roughly £25 billion shipping marijuana to the US
  • Frank Abagnale is another guy who had a film made about him – Catch me if you can – played by Leonardo DiCaprio. He was most recognised as being a former con man and imposter between the ages of 15 and 21. It is believed that he had no fewer than 8 identities
  • Pablo Escobar is one of the richest drug dealers of all times. At his peak, he was making £348 million each week and made £25 billion in total
Safe with Money In It for Addiction

In more recent news…

Stefan Miller from London was a ring leader in a drug operation and it’s believed he made £175,000 and had over £60,000 in assets in 2017. On top of that, he was using 14-16 year olds as ‘runners’ around Gloucestershire. He spent his earnings on Rolex watches and had 44 pairs of trainers, from well known brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. In 2018, he was jailed for 11 years.

In related news…

In December 2018, a couple in their 70’s were arrested after allegedly smuggling £2 million of cocaine in their cruise ship cabin. They have recently been charged.

In June of this year, a Colombian man was arrested after trying to hide half a kilo of cocaine under his toupee. The drugs were worth over £27,000.

A veterinary practice in Weymouth was targeted twice in 3 weeks in July of this year and several dangerous drugs were stolen, including euthanasia drugs and ketamine.

A drug dealer in South Wales was caught in the act selling drugs - after it was recorded on his own dash-cam. Police officers watched the footage and subsequently searched his home where they found a cannabis plant. He has been sentenced to 2 and a half years.

This month, a shipment was intercepted at Felixstowe docks, where heroin was found hidden under bathrobes and towels. It is reported that up to £40 million of drugs were uncovered, making it one of the largest ever seizures made in the UK.

It is well known that certain celebrities have struggled with drug and substance abuse – however, Sir Elton John has recently celebrated 29 years of sobriety, admitting that he was ‘a broken man’. He shared a very personal and heartfelt post on social media stating that he ‘finally summoned up the courage to say three words that would change his life: I need help’.

Here at New Leaf, we understand that saying ‘I need help’ can be scary and daunting, which is why we are here to help you every step of the way. From admitting you have a problem to celebrating years of sobriety, we specialise in helping you become a better, healthier person. Please click here to see how we can help you.