A British tourist who was recorded snorting cocaine off Pablo Escobar’s grave says the stunt’s cost him his family and he’s even received death threats.
Steven Semmens, 35, was filmed kneeling by and spilling white powder on the spot where the notorious cartel boss was buried in Itagui, Colombia, earlier this year.
The father, from Swansea, Wales, said he meant it as a ‘mark of respect’ but has now been kicked out of Colombia – where his girlfriend and twins live – for five years.
Mr Semmens told the Mirror: ‘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.’
In the video, which went viral in April, Mr Semmens is seen smiling at the camera before tipping the contents of a bag of white powder on to the grave stone and rolling up a bank note.
He bends down to snort the substance and then looks up grinning to say ‘I’m Gordon Ramsay mate’ in an apparent reference to the chef’s 2017 documentary about cocaine.
Now eight months on from the incident Mr Semmens has said he ‘regrets what I did so much’ and wants ‘to apologise to the people of Colombia.’
He added: ‘It was funny at the time but I’m ashamed. Everybody said I was a disgrace and I was making the country look bad.’
Mr Semmens, who plans to become a drugs counsellor, claims the video was filmed by a hitman for Escobar’s Medellin Cartel after they met in a bar.
He also said that after the video went viral he went into hiding and even shaved to change his appearance before police found him and gave him the five-year ban.
Drug baron Escobar was shot dead by police at the age of 44 in 1993, bringing an end to his ruthless control of the Medellin Cartel.
At one point he controlled more than 80 per cent of the cocaine shipped to the U.S.
This earned him the rank of one of Forbes Magazine’s ten wealthiest people in the world with an estimated £18 billion fortune.
In recent years, there have been reports of guided cocaine tours in the area taking in the notorious criminal’s grave.