How Much Money Was Seized From El Chapo?

Scandalous drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, also called “El Chapo,” was previously the head of the deadly Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico and was indicted in February 2019 of running a continuing criminal endeavor along with a few other drug-related charges. According to the filings, a few witnesses, including a portion of Guzman’s partners, affirmed during his months-long preliminary that they would sell a kilogram of cocaine in New York for up to $35,000 and a similar measure of heroin somewhere else for an average of $55,000. In July 2019, he was condemned to life in jail in New York on a Wednesday. Amassing such a great amount of wealth, one can only wonder how much money was seized from El Chapo. Well, let us find out.

Who Is El Chapo?

Who Is El Chapo

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Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera was born on 4 April 1957, which currently makes him 63 years old, and is commonly known as “El Chapo” (“Shorty”) because he is 5 feet 6 inches tall. El Chapo is a Mexican drug lord and the previous head of the Sinaloa Cartel, an international crime syndicate. He is thought to have been the most powerful drug trafficker all across the globe.

El Chapo was born in Sinaloa to a poor farming family. He persevered through physical abuse on account of his dad. Furthermore, he also entered the drug business through his dad, helping him grow cannabis for nearby sellers during his initial adulthood. By the end of the 1970s, Guzmán started working with Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, one of the country’s rising drug lords. He helped Salazar map courses to move the narcotics through Sinaloa and into the United States. He later administered coordination for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, one of the country’s driving top dogs during the 1980s, yet Guzmán established his own cartel in 1988 after Gallardo was arrested. Most people ask about how tall El Chapo is; he is 1.68 m.

Guzmán managed activities whereby mass cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis, and heroin were cultivated, smudged into, and circulated all through the United States and Europe, the largest international users. He accomplished this by spearheading the utilization of circulation cells and long-range tunnels close to the outskirts, which empowered him to trade a bigger number of drugs ever into the United States than some other dealers. Guzmán’s authority in the cartel additionally brought massive riches and influence; Forbes positioned him as one of the most influential individuals on the planet between 2009 and 2013, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) assessed that he coordinated the impact and abundance of Pablo Escobar.

How do other Kingpins and their networks compare to that of El Chapo?

Kingpins and their networks vs El Chapo

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El Chapo’s net worth is estimated to be around $1 billion. This puts him in the same league as other notorious drug kingpins, such as Pablo Escobar and Griselda Blanco. However, El Chapo’s net worth is difficult to verify and could be much higher.

In terms of networks, El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel is one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the world, with operations spanning multiple countries. Other kingpins, such as Joaquín “El Mayo” Zambada and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, are also noted for their extensive drug trafficking networks in Mexico and beyond.

Other famous drug kingpins, such as the Cali Cartel leaders Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, were once considered the biggest cocaine traffickers in the world before being arrested and convicted in the 1990s. Medellin Cartel leader Carlos Lehder was known for his close ties to Pablo Escobar and his role in the cocaine trade in the 1980s. Below are the net worth highlights of other infamous drug lords:

  • Al Capone – $1.47 billion
  • Griselda Blanco – $2.26 billion
  • Carlos Lehder – $3.05 billion
  • TheOrejuela Bros – $3.39 billion
  • Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha – $5.65 billion
  • Khu Sa – $5.65 billion.

A Quick Rundown Of The Timeline of El Chapo’s Life

El Chapo was one of the most famous drug lords who were able to make a huge fortune for himself due to his large-scale criminal activities. His life has been a fascination for many due to his enormous net worth. Here is a quick rundown of his life and some major events that happened in his journey that got him to where he is now. 

  • Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was born on April 4, 1957, in Sinaloa, Mexico.
  • The 1980s was the year he began his criminal career as a member of the Guadalajara Cartel.
  • After the cartel’s leader was killed in 1989, El Chapo founded his own cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel.
  • In 1993, he was arrested in Guatemala and extradited to Mexico, where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking and murder.
  • In 2001, he escaped from prison by hiding in a laundry cart and remained on the run for 13 years.
  • During this time, he expanded the Sinaloa Cartel’s operations and became one of the world’s most notorious drug lords.
  • In 2014, he was arrested again in Mexico but escaped a year later through a tunnel that had been dug into his cell.
  • He was captured for the final time in January 2016 and extradited to the United States in 2017.
  • In 2019, he was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses and was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 30 years.

El Chapo Money

El Chapo Money

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For around three decades, El Chapo, 63, sold enough drugs and, as a result, constructed an enormous fortune, big enough that his name appeared on Forbes magazine’s yearly list of billionaires multiple times in a row (four to be exact), starting in 2009. In his 30-year-long career as one of Mexico’s wiliest and best drug rulers, Joaquín Guzmán Loera or El Chapo got such a tremendous amount of money selling drugs that he once owned a couple of yachts, an armada of Learjets, and a private zoo with tigers, crocodiles, and panthers.

During those years, the outlet assessed that, in any event, he was worth at least $1 billion. As indicated by court papers, the Mexico local was assessed to have dealt with more than $11 billion worth of cocaine, more than $11 million worth of heroin, and $846 million worth of cannabis, as the head of the Sinaloa Cartel. These estimates were according to a recent report by The New York Times. Consolidated, those appraisals suggest that Guzmán made more than $12.67 billion.

El Chapo Net Worth

How much is El Chapo worth? According to a 2016 estimate, his total net worth was approximately $2 to $4 billion. However, what is El Chapo’s net worth in 2023? There has been around a 17.58 percent increase in inflation from 2016 to 2020. Therefore, there is not much difference between his net worth in 2016 and what it is today. In order to get a rough idea, $2 billion in 2016 is equivalent to almost $2.2 billion, while $4 billion is equivalent to almost $4.3 billion.

How Much Money Was Seized From El Chapo?

There are currently no records of how much money was seized from El Chapo, but as per a court filing, federal prosecutors want the drug lord to forfeit a hefty sum of over $12.6 billion to the United States government. In July 2019, the proposal, filed by prosecutors, stated that this large amount of money represents property “constituting or derived from” the crimes pertaining to his drug business and the property that “facilitated the commission of those crimes.

Jeffrey Lichtman, one of El Chapo’s lawyers, alluded to testimony from previous cartel associates who had said that Guzman was facing financial problems. This point was raised in one of the trials. In one of the trials in July, Lichtman stated, “This is largely an academic exercise as the government has never located or identified even a penny of this $12.7 billion in proceeds supposedly generated by Mr. Guzman”.

However, the report that the prosecutors filed says that they do not need to provide evidence for the fact that Guzman can actually pay the forfeiture, and “criminal forfeiture is viewed as part of the sentencing process.” On the other hand, the judge stated that there was a “mountain range of evidence” against the trafficker that strongly countered the statements made by his lawyers.

Will El Chapo’s Money Belong To Whoever Finds It?

Be that as it may, the money that the prosecutors need to seize from the head honcho stays to be found. In 2016 prosecution naming Guzman and his fellow cartel pioneer Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada said that upon conviction on the principal check — running a proceeding with the criminal venture — the United States would look for proceeds or property acquired through or utilized for that undertaking, “including yet not restricted to at least around, $14 billion.” However, in his 2019 trial, the prosecution reduced this money to around $12.7 billion.

Forfeitures for sentenced cartel pioneers are not uncommon. Different drug lords have been ordered to surrender large sums of money. After confessing in 2010, previous Gulf cartel pioneer Osiel Cardenas Guillen, who Guzman might soon enough join at ADX Florence, was requested to relinquish $50 million. In 2017, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, once head of the Beltran Leyva Organization, was condemned to life in jail and was ordered to relinquish $529 million, which was decreased from the US government’s $10 billion solicitation.

The $14 billion the legislature anticipates from Guzman is the highest amount yet that has been appointed to his crimes; however, how the prosecutors showed up at that number or at the conclusion that such a huge amount of cash even exists under the El Chapo name, is not clear.  According to Duncan Levin, a previous associate US lawyer who zeroed in on illegal tax avoidance and resource relinquishment, the $14 billion was “the cumulative amount of money based on his drug-trafficking enterprise, but [US prosecutors] never really spelled out what the $14 billion comes from.” He revealed this in an interview with Business Insider.

Levin further went on to state that “The US government is going to seek a forfeiture judgment against him in the amount of money that they estimate is the proceeds of his offense. Whether he’s worth it or not, whether he can pay for it or not, is almost immaterial.”

His drug cartel has obviously made him quite rich, so there is no doubt that he does have the money; however, whether or not the United States prosecution can prove a specific dollar amount is unclear. Nevertheless, they are allowed to take guesses and make estimates in order to get to a dollar amount, and most probably, that is exactly what they will do.

The idea of the business and of narcos like Guzman implies a significant part of the money has just been spent. A previous cartel member who affirmed against Guzman said that along with private planes, yachts, and sumptuous worldwide excursions, Guzman purchased homes on each seashore and in each state in Mexico. At his Acapulco beach house, the witness stated, Guzman had a zoo with a “little train” he could ride to see lions, tigers, and jaguars.

There are additionally more viable ventures, similar to farms and retail property, that help launder grimy cash. In the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan — presently allegedly Guzman’s son’s turf — they have dairy ranches and shopping centers. They even have daycare centers. Narcos additionally subsidizes churches, sports groups, and noble causes to construct goodwill. The loss of subsidizing was regretted by some in Guzman’s old neighborhood after his conviction.

Finding these assets in Mexico, holding onto them, and extricating their worth should be reciprocal exertion. Therefore, it is exceptionally impossible that they will discover nothing. However, the question is how and the effort the Mexican government is willing to put into helping the United States government in attempting to effectuate a relinquishment request. According to Levin, at the end of the day, the US government will end up with a cash judgment that would not be gathered easily.

How many times did El Chapo attempt to escape from prison?

How many times did El Chapo attempt to escape from prison

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El Chapo’s first attempt was in 2001, when he reportedly escaped from a maximum-security prison in Jalisco, Mexico, hiding in a laundry cart. He was on the run for more than a decade before being recaptured in 2014.

The second attempt was in 2015, when he escaped from a prison in Altiplano, Mexico, through a tunnel that had been dug under his cell. He was at large for several months before being recaptured in January 2016.

Both of these prison escapes were highly publicized and drew international attention to El Chapo’s criminal activities and the challenges faced by law enforcement in combating organized crime in Mexico.

Where is El Chapo currently held?

Where is El Chapo currently held

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El Chapo is currently being held at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, USA. This is a maximum security federal prison commonly referred to as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”

El Chapo was extradited to the United States in January 2017 to face charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal offenses. In February 2019, he was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

El Chapo’s Assets & Money Laundering

El Chapo is one of the world’s most notorious drug lords; his assets and money laundering operations are legendary. Here’s a look at how El Chapo built his empire and how he laundered his money.

El Chapo is known to have engaged in money laundering to hide the proceeds of his illicit activities. He used a variety of methods to launder his money, including purchasing real estate, businesses, and other assets, as well as using cash smuggling and other techniques to move his funds across borders.

In 2019 during his trial in the United States, it was revealed that El Chapo had used a complex network of front companies, Shell corporations, and other entities to launder his money. He also used a variety of intermediaries, including lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors, to help him move his funds through the international banking system and disguise the true source of his wealth. 

In addition to his money laundering activities, El Chapo is known to have owned a variety of assets, including mansions, yachts, and luxury items. He also reportedly had invested in legitimate businesses, including a fishery and a clothing store. However, many of his assets are known to be seized by the government, but still, he is known to have a plethora of hidden wealth. 

El Chapo’s assets

El Chapo’s Assets El Chapo has an estimated net worth of $1 billion, making him one of the richest drug lords in the world. His wealth comes from his sprawling drug empire, which spans multiple countries and supplies narcotics to much of North America. El Chapo’s assets include:

  • Ranches: El Chapo owned several ranches in Mexico, including one in Sinaloa, known as his “mountain fortress.” This ranch was reportedly equipped with a variety of high-tech security features, including a helipad, underground tunnels, and hidden escape routes. The value of these ranches is estimated to be $100 million.
  • Cars: El Chapo was known to be a car enthusiast and owned a variety of high-end vehicles, including a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, several Bentleys, and a McLaren.
  • Private jets: El Chapo owned a fleet of private jets, including a Gulfstream IV and a Hawker 800.
  • Yachts: El Chapo owned several yachts, including a 55-foot yacht called “Chapito” and a 164-foot yacht called “Azteca.”
  • Mansions: El Chapo owned several luxurious mansions in Mexico, including a villa in Los Cabos, a beachfront mansion in Acapulco, and a sprawling estate in the mountains of Sinaloa.

Where is El Chapo now, and what’s his net worth?

El Chapo, real name Joaquín Guzmán, is a Mexican drug lord who was once one of the most powerful and influential people in the narcotics trade. He is currently serving a life sentence in a US prison after being convicted of drug trafficking and other charges. El Chapo’s net worth is $3 billion US Dollars.

El Chapo’s family

El Chapo has a large and complex family. He has been married several times and is known to have at least 10 children with various partners. Following is a brief summary of his family and kids:

  • El Chapo’s first wife was Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández, whom he married in the 1970s. They had several children together, including César, Iván Archivaldo, and Jesús Alfredo. All three sons have been involved in the drug trafficking business and are believed to be high-ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
  • El Chapo’s second wife was Griselda López Pérez, whom he married in the
    1980s. They also had several children together, including Édgar, Joaquín, and Ovidio. Édgar was killed in a shootout with the Mexican military in 2008, while Joaquín and Ovidio were involved in the drug trade and indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges.
  • El Chapo has also been romantically linked to several other women, including Emma Coronel Aispuro, whom he married in 2007. Emma is a former beauty queen and is believed to have played a role in some of El Chapo’s criminal activities. She was also arrested in February 2021 in the United States on drug trafficking charges.

El Chapo’s family members have been the subject of intense media scrutiny due to their connections to his criminal activities. Several of his children have been indicted on drug trafficking charges, and some have also been involved in violent confrontations with rival gangs. However, it is worth noting that not all of El Chapo’s family members are involved in criminal activities, and many have distanced themselves from him and his illicit operations.

Where is El Chapo’s family now?

Some of El Chapo’s family members have been arrested and/or convicted for their involvement in drug trafficking activities. For instance, in February 2021, Emma Coronel Aispuro, El Chapo’s wife, was arrested in the United States on charges related to her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking. She was accused of helping El Chapo run his drug empire while he was in prison and also of attempting to facilitate his escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Several of El Chapo’s children have also been indicted on drug trafficking charges in the United States, including Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, Ovidio Guzmán López, and Joaquín Guzmán López. But not all of El Chapo’s family members are involved in criminal activities, and many have distanced themselves from him and his illicit operations.


frequently asked questions

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What is the estimated highest net worth of El Chapo?

During the peak of his drug trafficking empire from 2005 to 2011, El Chapo is believed to have had a net worth exceeding $26 billion, which placed him among the top 20 richest people in the world.

What is the estimated net worth of El Chapo’s wife?

Emma Coronel Aispuro, El Chapo’s wife, is estimated to have a net worth of $4 billion dollars.

What is the estimated highest net worth of El Chapo?

During the peak of his drug trafficking empire from 2005 to 2011, El Chapo is believed to have had a net worth exceeding $26 billion, which placed him among the top 20 richest people in the world.

Is El Chapo still considered wealthy?

Yes, El Chapo is still considered wealthy, with an estimated current net worth of $3 billion dollars, making him one of the wealthiest people in Mexico.

What percentage of El Chapo’s money has been seized by authorities?

According to reports, the DEA and FBI have seized more than $15 billion in assets that belong to El Chapo.

Where is all the remaining El Chapo’s money?

It is reported that over $400 million in cash owned by El Chapo remains unrecovered and is believed to be in one of his safe houses in Mexico.

Where is El Chapo’s son located at present?

El Chapo’s son resides in Mexico and regularly posts his pictures on social media.

What happened to the rest of El Chapo’s wealth?

The US authorities have seized a significant portion of El Chapo’s wealth, and the remaining wealth has reportedly been inherited by his children and wife.


El Chapo’s influence, authority, and wealth he had amassed matched that of Pablo Escobar. However, authorities still have not seized the entire amount and are on the lookout for it.