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US restaurant owner buys Pablo Escobar's luxurious Miami pad

MIAMI -- The owner of a Miami restaurant chain has paid nearly US$10 million for a luxurious beach-front home in the U.S. city once owned by famous Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar.

Christian Berdouare, owner of the Chicken Kitchen restaurants and one of Miami's jet set, closed the sale Thursday for US$9.65 million, realtor Miki Curkoski of One Sotheby's International Realty told AFP.

According to him, Berdouare plans to demolish the 650-square-meter home in one of the richest neighborhoods of Miami Beach and build his own home it its place.

“It is on the water, it has the best views of downtown Miami, it is on one of the most expensive streets of Miami Beach,” the realtor said.

The home was at one time owned by Escobar, the powerful boss of the Medellin drug cartel, who, long sought by authorities, was killed on December 2, 1993 in a shootout with police in Colombia.

He left behind him nearly 50,000 victims, according to figures from Colombia aid group Colombia con Memoria.

The Miami property was seized by U.S. authorities in the 1980s. It became vacant “at least five years ago,” Curkoski said.

Escobar, a billionaire drug lord who reigned over one of the most ruthless organized crime gangs, owned other properties in the United States, which were also seized by authorities.

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