Pablo Escobar’s Miami mansion still has a secret to hold. Last week demolition of the waterfront home began and this past Monday, a mysterious locked safe was found among the debris.
As reported by the Miami Herald, excavator operator Miguel Mato was knocking down the last walls of the 7,336-square-foot mansion around 11 a.m. when he noticed something hit the floor.
“We had left one of the walls because they had to film a scene for the documentary… when I started to knock it down, a piece of rubble hit the foundation, the floor sunk and I saw it. It was something gray. I grabbed it with the excavator’s claw, realized it was a safe and started to yell to tell them.”
Mato says the Escobar safe is two feet by two feet, and weighs roughly 600 to 700 pounds. It was hidden just beneath the entrance of the mansion.
Christian de Berdouare, who bought the property almost two years ago, says the contents of the safe are unknown. Like everyone else, he can only speculate.
“This is real. It’s still locked. It’s very, very heavy. We can’t believe it, now Pablito is my best friend. I think that it has gold or diamonds. Who knows?”
De Berdouare’s wife, journalist Jennifer Valoppi, is filming a documentary about the Miami mansion and its link to the Colombian drug lord. Federal officials think the home was used as a hideout for Escobar’s men and a place to stash tons of cocaine during the 1980s.
Escobar’s pink Miami Beach mansion, which overlooked Biscayne Bay, had four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a pool, and a garage. It was built in 1948 on top of a 33,000-square-foot lot.
As reported previously by the Inquisitr, Miami-Dade County public records indicate Pablo Escobar purchased the mansion in March, 1980, for $762,500. The title of the home and various property documents also include Pablo’s name.
Hiding money in secret compartments, in the walls of his house, and underground was something the “The King of Cocaine” often did. U.S. authorities took over the property, along with some other Florida properties owned by Escobar, in 1987.
In 1990, the home was sold to Attorney Roger Schindler for $915,000. De Berdouare bought the mansion for $9.65 million in 2014. He is destroying the drug lord’s home to make room for a brand-new, modern one in its place.
When de Berdouare bought the mansion, he and his wife had no idea it was formerly owned by Escobar. As soon as they found out, a Roman Catholic Monsignor was called in to bless the house.
During demolition last week, a white or cream-colored package was uncovered. It was one foot long, wrapped in plastic and sealed at both ends. Miami Beach police performed forensic tests and concluded it did not have drugs in it.
Another safe, found hidden under the marble floor, was stolen sometime in the last 30 days. Police are still investigating the disappearance, and now the property is under constant security surveillance until all the debris is gone.
As for the Escobar safe found on Monday, it will stay locked until the owners decide to open it. Once the documentary is completed, Valoppi and de Berdouare say the contents will be revealed.
Meanwhile, treasure hunters are still looking for anything valuable. “We will return when they clear out the remains of the house,” said treasure hunter David Spencer of Kellyco Metal Detectors. “We will search the entire area.”
Pablo Escobar, leader of the Medellin Cartel, was killed by Colombian police during a shootout in 1993. The crime organization was responsible for roughly 80 percent of the cocaine brought into the U.S., smuggling most of it through Miami.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the notorious kingpin was easily the richest and most powerful criminal at the time. So much money was earned, he often struggled to find places to keep it. Until the safe is opened, we can only guess what Escobar may have been hiding in it.
[Photo by AP Photo/Lynne Sladky]