The ter­ri­fy­ing truth about world’s big­gest drugs car­tel THE KILLERS CHOPPED IN FRONT OF HIS SCREAM­ING WIFE The be­gin­ning

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

ON a cold winter’s morn­ing in 1974, the rich­est crime group Bri­tain has ever known was founded in a rain-lashed lorry de­pot by a man named Fred.

The cab hadn’t even had time to cool down be­fore the owner was busy scram­bling on to the trailer be­hind, im­pa­tient to re­cover his riches.

Fred lifted back the green tar­pau­lin, send­ing rivulets of rain­wa­ter care­lessly splash­ing back on to sacks of food­stuff.

But he placed little value on the lorry’s le­git­i­mate load.

Fred pulled away more sacks to re­veal a ‘ par­cel’ that had been hid­den among the lorry’s le­gal cargo of cof­fee and tinned fruit. Fever­ishly, Fred then jem­mied open the lids of the crates with a crow­bar, re­veal­ing a sickly sweet-smelling dark mush wrapped in stained muslin bags and lay­ered crudely in crinkly-coloured plas­tic.

It was heroin – three ki­los’ worth.

This was the first con­sign­ment of class A drugs that Fred had smug­gled though the Liver­pool docks.

Thirty years later, the car­tel that he had in­ad­ver­tently founded in a grimy post-in­dus­trial goods yard had a turnover of bil­lions of pounds, em­ployed thou­sands of peo­ple across the globe and boasted a hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­ture sim­i­lar to that of a global cor­po­ra­tion. IT’S a global or­gan­i­sa­tion – mak­ing bil­lions in sales.

But, un­like Tesco or BP, few have heard of it.

The Car­tel is Bri­tain’s, and prob­a­bly the world’s, big­gest drugs firm – a shad­owy net­work stretch­ing from the freez­ing fog-banks of the Mersey to the glit­ter­ing mari­nas of Mar­bella.

From the cof­fee shops of Am­s­ter­dam to the trad­ing floors of Ca­nary Wharf, the Car­tel is run by

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