A man who snorted cocaine off Pablo Escobar’s grave has been receiving death threats for his actions.
35-year-old Brit Steven Semmens was filmed at the drug lord’s grave in Colombia in April after he flew to the country in November 2017, with a Colombian girl he’d met in Ibiza.
Semmens’ girlfriend became pregnant with twins while he was residing in Colombia with her, but since the clip of him snorting cocaine went viral, the Brit has been banned from the country for five years.
The footage showed Semmens at the drug lord’s grave in Itagui, where he’s seen taking a bag of white powder, tipping it onto Escobar’s grave and then proceeding to snort it up his nose.
According to the Mirror, the Brit explained:
I was in a bar in Medellin when the news flashed up on the TV of me doing the cocaine. All the locals were going crazy so I joined in slagging off the guy on TV because I didn’t want them to know it was me.
I went home, shaved to change my appearance and went to the mountains outside Medellin to hide. As soon as I could, I went to Cartagena and hid.
Then I went to the capital, Bogota, but the police found me. They gave me a paper with a five-year ban on and I was taken to the airport and told not to come back.
The tourist claimed the stunt was a ‘sign of respect’ for Escobar, but it didn’t come across that way to many, as Semmens explained he’s received death threats from the country’s criminal gangs.
At the height of his career, Escobar’s cartel supplied an estimated 80 per cent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States. The drug lord was shot dead by police at his headquarters in 1993.
The 35-year-old Brit has since returned to Swansea, but he’s worried for the safety of his girlfriend and children who can’t join him in England because of visa rules.
Semmens said the prank has ruined his life, and now he wants to apologise to the country for ‘causing disrespect’.
Speaking about the effect the short video clip has had on him, the Brit added:
My mate asked me to do a line off Escobar’s grave and it just went mad. It was funny at the time but I’m ashamed.
Everybody said I was a disgrace and I was making the country look bad. The president even mentioned me on TV and the police were worried for my safety.
It was really scary. I regret doing it so much. People sent me death threats on Facebook.
They said if they found me they would skin me alive. I can’t see my children and that hurts. If I wasn’t banned I would definitely have gone back to see my children. But I knew when I got on the plane I was lucky to be alive.
I regret what I did so much and I want to apologise to the people of Colombia.
Hopefully Semmens will have learned from his mistake.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.