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image captionThe money was discovered in an apartment where Escobar’s nephew lives

A nephew of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar has said he found a plastic bag with money worth $18m (£14m) hidden in the wall of one of his uncle’s houses.

Nicolás Escobar told Colombian media “a vision” indicated where to look for the money in the apartment where he lives in the city of Medellín.

He said it was not the first time he found money in places where his uncle used to avoid capture, as Escobar reportedly hid millions in properties.

He died in a police shootout in 1993.

At the peak of his career Escobar was said to be the seventh richest person on the planet.

Rumours of Escobar’s hidden fortunes have circulated in Medellín since his death, after he spent decades waging war against the Colombian state to prevent his extradition to the United States.

Nicolás Escobar

told Colombian TV channel Red+ Noticias he had also found a typewriter, satellite phones, gold pen, a camera and a film roll yet to be developed.

“Every time I sat in the dining room and looked towards the car park, I saw a man entering the place and disappearing,” he said.

“The smell [inside] was astonishing. A smell 100 times worse than something that had died.”

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPablo Escobar reportedly hid money in numerous properties in Medellín

Some of decades-old banknotes were decayed and no longer usable, said Nicolás Escobar, who has been living in the apartment for the last five years.

In the interview, he said he accompanied his uncle on many occasions, and that he was once kidnapped by individuals looking for Escobar’s whereabouts: “I was tortured for seven hours. Two of my workers were attacked with a chainsaw.”

media captionPablo Escobar’s fortress demolished

Who was Pablo Escobar?

Escobar was born in Rionegro, Colombia in 1949 and established a drug cartel in Medellín in the 1970s.

At its most active, the gang supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States.

His wealth catapulted him into the Forbes list of global billionaires for seven years.

After the US issued an extradition order, Escobar resisted capture and his gang targeted politicians, the police and journalists.

After he was arrested in 1991, Escobar was housed in a prison of his own design, nicknamed the Cathedral, where he continued to oversee the Medellín Cartel.

In all, Escobar is thought to be responsible for some 4,000 deaths.

But his humble roots made him popular among some Colombians whose support he cultivated by giving out large amounts of cash and investing in poor neighbourhoods in Medellín.

media captionMany Colombians adore the convicted underworld boss Escobar despite his many crimes.

Related Topics

  • Colombia

  • Drugs trade
  • Medellin



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Sports Stars, Actors And “High-Value” Business Travellers Returning To England Will No Longer Have To Self-Isolate

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From Saturday certain business travellers will no longer have to self-isolate when they arrive back into England (PA)


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Grant Shapps has revealed “high-value” business travellers are part of a new group of people who will not have to quarantine when they return to England after traveling to countries outside of coronavirus travel corridors.

The transport secretary said recently signed sports stars, performing arts professionals, TV production staff and journalists will also be exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period even if they have visited a destination where people are required to quarantine on return.

The move, which will come into force from 4am on Saturday, was recommended by the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which warned that business travel would be particularly slow to recover. 

Announcing the news on Twitter, Mr Shapps wrote: “New Business Traveller exemption: From 4am on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travellers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply.

“From 4am on Sat 5th Dec certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed elite sportspersons will also be exempt, subject to specific criteria being met.”

The news follows the government’s ‘Test to Release’ plan to cut the 14-day quarantine period to five days .

It means anyone arriving in the UK from a high-risk destination after 15 December will be able to leave isolation if they pay for a Covid-19 test after the fifth day and it comes back negative.

But as most inbound business travellers spend fewer than three days here that policy was unlikely to help revive this type of travel, which accounted for 22% of inbound visits a year before the pandemic, and contributed £4.5billion to the UK economy.

The department for transport has also revealed a “high-value” business trip must be one that “creates or preserves 50+ UK jobs”, but further guidance will be revealed before the plan comes into force.

In a statement it said: “Public Health England do not anticipate these changes will raise the risk of domestic transmission, due to the protocols being put in place around these exemptions, however all exemptions will remain under review.”

Mr Shapps also confirmed this evening that no destinations have been added or removed from the UK’s existing travel corridors list.



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Covid: Are countries under pressure to approve a vaccine?

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The claim that Brexit allowed the UK to approve the vaccine faster than other European countries has been disproved but it does reflect once again a different path Britain is taking. All EU countries have the option to follow the UK example and let their domestic drug regulator issue emergency approval, but the bloc says it wants to wait for the European Medicines Agency to give the green light on all their behalf. Germany, backed by Denmark and others, believes this maximises safety, allows a co-ordinated rollout, boosts public trust in the vaccine and ensures no country is left behind.

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US bill that could remove Chinese firms from stock exchanges is now on Trump’s desk

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would prevent companies that refuse to open their books to US accounting regulators from trading on US stock exchanges. The legislation won unanimous backing in the Senate earlier this year, meaning it only needs President Donald Trump’s signature to become law.

The bill would apply to any foreign company, but the focus on China is obvious. Beijing has resisted such scrutiny. It requires companies that are traded overseas to hold their audit papers in mainland China, where they cannot be examined by foreign agencies. All US-listed public companies would also be required to disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a foreign government, including China’s Communist party.

“US policy is letting China flout rules that American companies play by, and it’s dangerous,” Senator John Neely Kennedy said in a statement after the House vote.
The legislation would give Trump yet another way to put pressure on China before he leaves office in January. Washington has been ratcheting up its fight with Beijing this year as the two countries blame each other for starting and mishandling the coronavirus pandemic and clash over Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The Trump administration has targeted TikTok and forced Huawei into a fight for survival, and banned Americans from investing in some Chinese firms.
Several Chinese companies have been preparing contingency plans in light of the heightened scrutiny from the United States. Earlier this year, gaming company NetEase (NTES) and e-commerce firm JD.com (JD), both of which trade in New York, acknowledged the tensions as they announced secondary listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Other companies that could be affected include Alibaba (BABA) and China Telecom (CHA).

“Enactment of any of such legislations or other efforts to increase US regulatory access to audit information could cause investor uncertainty for affected issuers, including us, the market price of our [US shares] could be adversely affected, and we could be delisted if we are unable” to meet requirements in time, JD said in filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Beijing has made its dissatisfaction with the US legislation evident. Asked Wednesday about the House vote, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said “we firmly oppose politicizing securities regulation.”

“We hope the US side can provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies to invest and operate in the US, instead of trying to set up various barriers,” Hua told reporters.

Should the bill become law, its immediate consequences aren’t entirely clear. Analysts at Goldman Sachs pointed out in a research note earlier this year that the legislation would only force businesses to de-list if they could not be audited for three consecutive years.

Still, even the potential for tighter regulatory scrutiny was likely to push more companies to dual list in Hong Kong, the analysts added.

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