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Pablo Escobar's Brother in Odd Dispute With Elon Musk

Roberto Escobar says Tesla engineer stole flamethrower idea from him
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2019 11:04 AM CDT
An attendee operates a Boring Company flamethrower at the company's photo booth during an unveiling event for the Boring Co. Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018.   (Robyn Beck/Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – Elon Musk's super-popular limited-edition flamethrower (er, that is, "Not a Flamethrower") was actually Pablo Escobar's brother's idea, says Pablo Escobar's brother. Roberto Escobar released his own "tactical toy flamethrower" last week (you can buy one for $249 here), and a press release acknowledges the product is "similar to a product issued earlier this year by Elon Musk's The Boring Company." But that's because Escobar came up with the idea before Musk did, he claims. "I want the people to be able to burn money, like me and Pablo used to do. I burned probably a couple of billion dollars over the years. Literally burning the money. For many reasons," the drug lord's brother says in the release. Escobar says one of Musk's engineers visited the Escobar compound in 2017 and discussed the idea with him, and then Musk came out with his version the following year.

Escobar, 72, is threatening to sue if Musk doesn't give him $100 million in cash or Tesla shares, Newsweek reports. So far, Musk's only response was to tweet, "It’s Not a Flamethrower, Mr Escobar" and to add that he actually stole the idea from the movie Spaceballs. (Musk was forced to change the product's name for regulatory reasons.) The tweet apparently angered Escobar, with Escobar Inc. CEO Olof Gustafsson issuing a statement to the Next Web saying, "Elon’s tweet shows that he is guilty." Escobar himself added, "Elon we both know you stole from me. ... Remember, in the 1980’s you were a small baby boy while I was running the world. Now you made a few billion, even 20 billion, that is what I made in 2 good weeks my friend. Let’s settle this like gentleman. Send me the Tesla Shares to Escobar Inc." (Escobar also once threatened Netflix.)

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