To some criminals, ransom is one of the most lucrative businesses they can do. It is also very risky. In most cases, targets are abnormally rich people who really don't care about a few million being taken out of their pockets nor does that represent any bigger damage to them. So, this is the list of largest publicly known ransoms ever paid
10 John Thompson ($3 million)
John Thompson, the President of a company called Firestone, was kidnapped in 1974 by the ERP. He was released about 3 weeks later after a ransom of $3 million has been asked.
9 Enrique Metz ($5 million)
Enrique Metz who was the extremely rich executive of Mercedes Benz was captured in 1975 by the Argentina guerrilla group called Montoneros. They asked for a ransom of $5 million.
8 Patty Hearst ($6 million)
Patty Hearst was a 19 years old sophomore at the time that she was kidnapped with her boyfriend by the Symbionese Liberation Army, simply known as SLA in 1974. SLA asked Hearst's rich father to distribute $70 worth of food to every Californian who needed it. Her kidnapping case is held by many as an example of Stockholm syndrome because she felt sympathy for her kidnappers.
7 Maran Centaurus oil tanker crew ($7 million)
Maran Centaurus was an oil tanker that carried more than $165 million worth of oil. It was famously hijacked in 2009 by some Somali pirates and the crew was taken captive. The crew was eventually set free three months later when more than $8 million was dropped onto tanker for their release.
6 Samho Dream crew ($9 million)
This happened just one year after the infamous Maran hijacking. Somali pirates once again took over a Korean ship which the pirates held the crew for a staggering 218 days. They asked for a ransom of $9 million and eventually received the money and let the crew go free.
5 Charles Lockwood ($10 million)
Charles Lockwood, who was at the time an executive of a company called Roberts, was kidnapped and held for a ransom by the ERB (Argentine guerrilla organization) in 1975. His random was held at the staggering amount of $10 million. With adjusted inflation this price would've come up today as a mind-blowing $53 million. The most interesting part is that he was captured twice by exactly the same group.
4 Victor Samuelson ($14.3 million)
Victor Samuelson was captured by Marxist rebels in 1974. The rebels held him as a hostage for almost 100 days, until they were paid $14.3 million by the Exxon subsidiary called Argentina Esso. These rebels wanted to execute him due to his alleged multi-corporational crimes. If inflation were adjusted for today his ransom would be equivalent to $70 million.
3 #3 Juan and Jorge Born ($60 million)
These two, very wealthy Argentinian brothers and business partners, were captured in the year 1974 by the terrorist group known as Montoneros. They were held for a ransom for 10 months straight until they were released after the group recevied a payment of $60 million. If inflation was adjusted their ransom would be at the number one spot, holding a staggering $295 million.
2 Walter Kwok ($77 million)
Walter Kwok, who is the son of the richest businessman in China in 1997, was hijacked by the infamous gangster Big Spender. Kwok was eventually found in a wooden box in a village after they had paid ransom that was worth $77 million.
1 Victor Li ($135 million)
The number one spot on the list goes to the ransom of Victor Li, son of the billionaire Li Shing who was also captured by Big Spender. He was eventually released after Li Shing had to pay an astounding $135 million for his release. Big Spender was executed in 2000 because of his many crimes.