• The brother of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar has accused Elon Musk of IP theft, TMZ reports.
  • In response, Musk posted on Twitter to remind Roberto Escobar that the Boring Company's product is not a flamethrower, despite the fact that its called a flamethrower on the company's website.
  • "It's not a Flamethrower, Mr. Escobar," the Tesla CEO tweeted with a link to the story.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Elon Musk's latest Twitter ire is directed at an unlikely suspect.

The Tesla CEO on Thursday jumped feet-first into online drama Thursday when TMZ reported that Roberto Escobar, brother of the infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, had accused Musk of stealing his flamethrower idea.

"It's not a Flamethrower, Mr. Escobar," the billionaire tweeted with a link to the story.

According to TMZ, "Elon's guy" was in Colombia in 2017, when he saw a toy flamethrower owned by the Escobars. A while later, in January 2018, Musk announced that The Boring Company would sell flamethrowers to raise money for its tunneling projects.

After selling out of the products, which do in fact spew flames but in no way resemble actual flamethrowers, and raising $2 million in the process, Musk changed course. In order to sell the product legally, the name - and website address - were changed to "not a flamethrower," which brings us to Thursday's strange Twitter interaction.

But calling the incendiary toys flamethrowers and later backtracking is far from the first time The Boring Company has shifted gears radically. Despite an outcry from experts in every related field, Musk has maintained that he has found a way to tunnel more cheaply than anyone has ever been able to do, while at the same time alleviating traffic with a network of tunnels.

That plan, at least for now, has been distilled to a small tunnel inside the Las Vegas convention center that will transport visitors from one side of the event space to the other.

Meanwhile, people who paid thousands of dollars for a secondhand not-a-flamethrower are busy setting things on fire, as they did almost instantaneously when the product went on sale.

As for Roberto Escobar? According to a Vice report from 2014, he's still running the cartel's house in Medellin, and also curing AIDS by studying horses … maybe.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: