These days, less than 20% of Americans have more than $100,000 in their bank accounts. And, if you’re one of the lucky Americans that do, just think about this: the poorest guy in the top 1% has 100 times more money than you do. That guy is sitting on $10 million and just barely sneaks into the top 1%.
Sure, that $10 million is a ton of money, but compared to some of the other people in that top 1%, it’s peanuts. Think about this: the poorest billionaire, meaning that they have exactly $1 billion, was 100 times more money than that $10 millionaire. And the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has over $100 billion and he’s sneaking up on $200 billion. That means, if you’re one of those lucky Americans who have $100,000, Jeff Bezos is almost 2 million times richer than you are. Yeah.
If that whole thing just blew your mind, trust me, you’re not alone. And while there are billionaires out there whose names we all know, like Jeff Bezos, who get covered in the news daily and who willingly report their wealth to the government, there are also quite a few billionaires hiding in plain sight.
Today, I’m going to talk about some of the billionaires out there whose net worths nobody really knows! And that’s because they hide their money away in places where nobody can find it! These are the secret billionaires living right next door or, more likely, in some massive palace overseas. Let’s go!
#1: Dawood Ibrahim – Indian Kingpin
First up on our list is basically the Pablo Escobar of India. Pablo, by the way, was worth an estimated $25 billion, some of which is apparently still buried in the ground in random farms in Colombia. And while this Indian drug lord doesn’t quite have $25 billion, he’s still amassed quite an impressive empire.
Dawood Ibrahim has been wanted since 1993 and even made number three on the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 2011 for his alleged involvement with the 1993 Bombay bombings, which killed over 250 people. He was born in Mumbai and started engaging in petty crime in his early teens. And, after the death of his older brother, he later became the head of the D-Company gang, which would grow into one of the largest crime syndicates in India.
Ibrahim’s empire has made him one of the richest drug dealers in the world with an estimated net worth of around $7 billion. And, unlike his Colombian counterpart Pablo, he’s still in business, still at large, and no one really knows where he is. Some have reported that he’s hiding out in Pakistan or in the UAE, but it’s impossible to know for sure.
But, if you’ve never heard of Dawood Ibrahim, don’t worry, because the next secret billionaire we have on this list is someone who everyone knows, unless you’ve been living under a rock, that is. He’s basically a real-life comic book villain, he’s as Russian as they come, and he might just be the richest man on Earth.
#2: Vladimir Putin – Russian Supervillain
Vladimir Putin definitely makes some wild claims to make himself look like a god to his people. He was once pictured capturing a 46-pound fish, he apparently defended a camera crew from a tiger that got loose from its cage, and he even scored a goal against the goalie for Russia’s national hockey team. I’m absolutely sure that goalie was trying his hardest.
But, despite all of this overcompensation, it seems that Putin might actually be the richest man in the world. In a testimony in front of the United States Senate in 2017, American businessman Bill Browder, whose company is heavily invested in Russian stocks, claimed that Putin’s net worth could be as high as $200 billion, which would be even higher than Jeff Bezos.
Other people have given more conservative estimates, putting him more around $70 billion. But the fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to know exactly how wealthy he is. Regardless of whether or not he’s the richest, Forbes still named him the “most powerful man in the world” for many years. Scary.
Next up is another dictator that you’ve absolutely heard of. And, yes, we’re staying in the land of communism.
#3: Kim Jong-un – The North Korean Iron Curtain
Kind of like Putin, Kim Jong-un likes to put out propaganda stories that make him look super strong or even god-like. For instance, he could apparently fire a gun at age 3, he could drive a truck at age 8, and he has never had to go to the bathroom. Someone get that man a laxative.
Anyway, like most other things behind North Korea’s Iron Curtain, we have no idea what the real figure is for Kim Jong Un’s net worth, but we do know that it’s a lot. Some unofficial estimates have put him around $5 billion, which would be about a quarter of the entire GDP of the country.
The Supreme Leader is said to have amassed this fortune through engaging in cyber warfare, selling off his country’s natural resources, and basically putting people in slave camps. Kim is said to be a fan of expensive liquors and cheeses. But, if you ask me, those $5 billion would be better spent, oh, I don’t know, maybe feeding the people of North Korea.
Next up we have yet another country leader, but this one isn’t a president or a Supreme Leader. This secret billionaire is a sultan.
#4: Hassanal Bolkiah – Sultan of Brunei
The Sultan of Brunei has been the richest royal leader in the world for quite some time, until just recently when he was surpassed by Rama X of Thailand. And while we have a pretty good estimate of what Rama’s net worth is, it’s hard to put an exact number on the Sultan of Brunei, as his money is in so many places that’s almost impossible to track down.
One thing we do know, though, is that the Sultan likes to spend. He’s got a fleet of over 600 Rolls-Royces, one of which is a Silver Spur limo that’s completely covered in 24-carat gold plating. He also has his own private jet, which has an estimated cost of over $200 million. He’s had extravagant multi-million-dollar parties with performances from stars like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. And his house, currently the largest private residence in the world, is a 2-million square-foot palace with 1,800 rooms and an estimated value of $350 million. Good luck finding someone who can afford that if he ever wants to sell.
How did the Sultan make all this money? Well, the nation of Brunei is rich in black gold. That’s right, oil. And all that oil has given the Sultan an estimated net worth of around $20 billion.
For the next secret millionaire, we’re going to double back to Russia to a guy who seems to be in cahoots with Putin. I guess being the friend of the most powerful man in the world has its benefits.
#5: Roman Abramovich – Shady Soccer Team Owner
If you’ve heard the name Roman Abramovich before, it may be because he’s the owner of Chelsea FC, a dominant soccer team in England’s Premier League. However, Abramovich is much, much more than just a soccer fan.
Back when Yeltsin was president of Russia, Abramovich sewed himself into Yeltsin’s inner circle and was actually one of the first people to recommend that Putin be his successor. So, when Putin took power, Abramovich was pretty much set for life. Today, he’s worth an estimated $14 billion from his soccer team, his investment company Millhouse LLC, and a joint venture he did with Nicki Minaj and Avicii. That’s pretty strange…
Anyway, it’s entirely possible that Abramovich has far more money than that $14 billion since he’s been accused of some pretty nefarious activities. He’s been investigated in London, in Switzerland, and even in his home country of Russia for crimes ranging from blackmail to hiding his money away in slush funds, or bank accounts that are not properly accounted for.
Being that he’s also an Israeli national, he’s also been accused of breaching international law by getting involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also sails around the world on a $500 million-dollar yacht, making him sort of like a real-life Lex Luther.
For the final billionaire on our list, we have to move it on over to the Middle East and look at a name that’s been pretty big in American foreign policy for a while now.
#6: Bashar al-Assad – Syrian Political Corruption
It’s no secret that Syria hasn’t been doing very well recently. The country experienced one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history, and the government is rife with corruption that stems all the way to the top. While Assad’s personal net worth is quoted at $1.5 billion, the wealth controlled by the entire Assad regime and thus controlled by Assad himself could be somewhere around $120 billion or more.
However, since the money is spread all over the world in real estate, airlines, telecom, and energy companies, and is spread out throughout the different members of the Assad family, it’s pretty much impossible to track. But that hasn’t stopped the United States government from trying. They’ve been targeting this wealth as a way to destabilize the regime for years. But, thus far, the United States Treasury has only been able to seize about $80 million of that dirty money.