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19 Astonishing Facts

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A Columbian drug lord helped solve Columbia's external debt problems! Did it save him from getting arrested, though?

While becoming the infamous leader of a drug cartel isn't exactly a recommended career path, it can apparently help in solving the problems of external debt in small countries such as Columbia.

Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas took advantage of this and became one of the most wealthy drug cartels in history. His massive assets included the Island of Norman's Cay. He obtained the island through the purchasing out of people's homes and the threatening and murdering of many of it's residents.

Once he had ownership of the land he turned the existing airstrip into a base of operations for his drug trafficking. The fleet of aircraft housed there was guarded by radar, dogs and bodyguards.

Lehder's wealth became so immense that he was able to offer the Columbian government money twice for different reasons. Once to relieve Columbian debt and another time to alleviate the threat of his own extradition.

At the height of the Cartel's operations, 300 kilograms of cocaine were moved through the island base every day! His requests for the canceling of his extradition were denied and he was eventually arrested by the U.S. Government. Details after his capture are hazy and unconfirmed, but many believe that his cooperation agreements were violated and he was sent to a prison in Germany.


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