"Everyone has a price, the important thing is to find out what it is."
Those are the words of the late Pablo Escobar, notorious Columbia cartel kingpin and arguably the world's most famous cocaine trafficker. During the 1980's he smuggled in a half-billion dollars worth of cocaine into the U.S. on a daily basis - worth over one hundred and eighty billion dollars a year in income!
I'm doubt anyone will ever find audited financial statements to confirm this, but that's the estimate. This was decades ago, yet it's still double the 2010 income of Microsoft. Organized crime is bigger than you think.
Some other interesting facts:
Rubber bands were used to keep the stacks of money together at a cost of $2,500 a month (they couldn't exactly deposit it in the bank).
Accountants in the Escobar organization had a 70% mortality rate from unnatural causes. I sure hope the pay was good while it lasted.
The cash had to be hidden away in walls, floors or buried. Ten percent of it was assumed lost due to shrinkage, mostly from mold or rats chewing through it. I don't know about you, but ten percent seems awfully high to me, even for hungry rats. Was there fraud involved? Possibly. It can happen anywhere - even in drug cartels. We'll never really know, but it's food for thought.