UPDATE 5 March 2013
For it’s 2013 rich list, Forbes has finally dropped Guzman from its list after 4 continuous years in it (2009 to 2012).
29 June 2012
This list doesn’t include political leaders/despots/dictators.
Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman (born 1957), of Mexico, is the fugitive leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, the world’s biggest and most powerful narcotics trafficking group. In 2009, he’s listed by Forbes as the 701st richest person in the world, with a USD1 billion fortune. He has made the list every year since then. Forbes also called him “the biggest druglord of all time”, surpassing even Pablo Escobar. To criticisms on the criminal’s listing, Steve Forbes, the magazine’s editor-in-chief said that while “it is deplorable that someone like this has a billion dollars,” the magazine “was simply doing its job and reporting a fact.”
Pablo Escobar (1949 – 1993), of Colombia was a legedary drug dealer, who in 1987 made Forbes first World’s Billionaires List. He had apparently amassed USD3 billion up to that point. He stayed in the list for 7 years, his final appearance being the July 1993 list. He was killed 5 months later.
The Ochoa brothers, Jorge Luis, Fabio and Juan David were collectively worth USD2 billion in 1987. How did they make their money? You’ve guessed it – drugs. They made the list for another 6 years, for the final time in 1992.
Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha (1947 â€“ 1989) was another big time drug dealer, who, in 1988 made Forbes’ billionaire list, his wealth estimated at USD1.3 billion. He made the list again the following year, but at the end of 1989 he was killed by police.
Allen Stanford (born 1950) is a former prominent financier who ran a USD7 billion Ponzi scheme, currently serving a 110-year jail sentence.
Bernard Madoff (born April 1938) ran a Ponzi scheme considered the largest financial fraud in US history, the actual losses to investors estimated at USD18 billion. In 2009 he was sentenced to 150 years in jail.