Pablo Escobar's brother sues Apple for billions

Chiara Giordano
File photo of deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar: STF/AFP/Getty Images

Pablo Escobar’s brother is suing Apple for $2.6bn after alleging his iPhone X was hacked through FaceTime.

The deceased Colombian drug kingpin’s brother, Roberto Escobar, claims he was sent a threatening letter from someone named Diego who had obtained his address and other information through the video call function.

According to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, seen by The Independent, Mr Escobar visited an Apple store in Medellin, Colombia, in April 2018, where he bought an iPhone X after being assured by a staff member that it was the most secure phone on the market at the time.

The documents claim Mr Escobar told the employee he needed a device which was “not vulnerable to any known or unknown exploits” because attempts had been made on his life in 2010 and 2014.

However within less than a year of owning the phone, Mr Escobar became concerned for his and his family’s safety after allegedly receiving the threatening letter.

He claims he did some internet research and found the FaceTime function had a known vulnerability.

As a result, he says he has had to spend “substantial amounts of time and money” relocating his family to a new home and upping their security measures to protect them from “future attempts on his life”.

Mr Escobar says he is still concerned for his safety to this day, especially because he does not know how much of his personal information the hacker possesses.

He is now suing Apple for breach of contract, claiming the company “failed to provide a phone free of exploits”, negligence/negligent misrepresentation, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

It comes as Mr Escobar has begun selling refurbished gold-plated iPhones for $499 in competition with Apple through his company Escobar Inc.

The company’s website describes the “official Escobar gold 11 pro smartphone” as an original 256 GB Apple iPhone 11 pro that has been 24K gold plated.

It says the device is the “real Apple killer phone”, adding: “Rest In Peace Apple, Pablo always wins.”

Mr Escobar’s brother, Pablo Escobar, was head of the Medellin Cartel, which he founded in Colombia in the 1970s.

He was shot dead on a rooftop in December 1993, the day after his 44th birthday, as he attempted to flee police.

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