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Outlaws Inc.: Flying With the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers [Kindle Edition]

Matt Potter
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A riveting homage to these extraordinary ex-Soviet planes and the dodgily heroic Russian and Ukrainian smugglers who fly them' --John Sweeney, The Literary Review

'A chilling indictment of a worldwide failure of regulatory will' --Manchester Evening News

'Fascinating...It's Jason Bourne meets James Bond, only it's really happening, and it's happening now' --Andy Ross, America Now

'Thrilling, seats of the pants stuff' --Bizarre

'An underground history of the globalised world... at once thrilling, provocative, and morally circumspect'

Product Description

In the world's most dangerous and war-torn trouble spots, you will find a small band of men risking their lives to fly the planes that bring in desperately needed aid and supplies. But they're not heroes. These combat-hardened veterans fly giant Soviet-era superplanes which carry a dark secret: 15 tonnes' worth of secret compartments which they fill with illicit payloads. Their hidden cargo is virtually impossible to detect, and these cowboys of the air will carry anything, from drugs, guns, diamonds and money to people - whatever you've got, to anywhere you want them to take it. But they pay a heavy price: crews routinely lose their lives to gun-toting pirates, terrorists, hostile state forces, jealous competitors and alcohol.

Matt Potter has flown with these men, and in Outlaws Inc. he follows their incredible, action-packed story around the world. On the way he discovers a secret society populated by mecenaries, dictators, secret policemen, gangsters, businessmen and real-life Bond villains, and finds a story that is all the more terrifying for being true.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1076 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson; Unabridged edition (3 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 028307132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283071324
  • ASIN: B0050CJN60
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Author, journalist and broadcaster (ex-BBC, Telegraph, writer of BBC books). Tracked post-Soviet pilots running arms, drugs and worse from Afghanistan to Somalia for his first book of reportage 'Outlaws Inc: Flying with the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers' (a #6 WHSmith bestseller, now published in 29 languages through Bloomsbury, Pan MacMillan, Ullstein, Einaudi and Reader's Digest) and the 2014 Sundance Festival Award-winning film 'The Notorious Mr Bout' (also a BBC Storyville film as 'Arms Dealer: The Notorious Mr Bout').

New book, 'F**k You & Goodbye: The Dark & Hilarious History of the Resignation' examines the phenomenon of quitting as a historical force, from the Berlin Wall and the American Civil War to Iraq and Roy Keane.

Praise for 'F**k You & Goodbye': "There is a poetry to the best resignation letters that comes from having nothing to lose" - The Independent. "Breathless and brilliant; one of my favourite writers" - Eddy Temple Morris. "Beautifully written. These are the bitterest, most bittersweet stories you might ever read" - William Sitwell.

Praise for 'Outlaws Inc':
"Riveting" - John Sweeney, Literary Review. "Fascinating" - Washington Post. "Great writing" - Seattle Times. "Thrilling yet disturbing journey through the global underworld" - Baltimore Sun. "We await the Hollywood take" - ABC News. "Amazing" - Fox News.

"It's James Bond meets Jason Bourne, only it's happening, and it's happening now" - Andy Ross, America Today

"Not just a fascinating tale of cratered runways and no-questions drops, this book tells us something about the modern world: for all our efforts to regulate society, there will always be those who thrive by finding ways to use, abuse, and ignore the rules." - Dr Mark Galeotti, NYU Center for Global Affairs.

"An explosive read, full of heart-thumping excitement and brilliant detective work which shines a light into the darkest corners of the world. All the more terrifying for being true" - Sean Rayment, Sunday Telegraph.

Journalism: Independent, BBC, Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Esquire, Buzzfeed (Top 10 Contributor 2014)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing Story, Stunning Book 25 May 2011
By George
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of international true crime books (mafia/gangster stories) and when I saw Outlaws Inc I thought it looked like it was right up my street, the book being a story about how ex-Soviet air force crews basically went freelance after the fall of communism and the extraordinary things they've got up to since then. The author, Matt Potter, makes a big promise on the front about the 'Outlaws' being the most dangerous smugglers in the world and my oh my he does not disappoint. From the first few pages, when you find yourself with him on board one of these planes with a crew, right up to the end of the book when you finish it and the ramifications of what you've just been told gradually sink in, it's astonishing stuff. These crews of smugglers work for gangsters, dictators and dodgy governments, as you'd expect...but they also work for legitimate governments, our governments, charities, NGOs, the UN, all kinds of people supposedly on the right side of the law. Sounds unbelievable, I know, but read the book because it's all true. As a whole, Outlaws Inc is highly readable, dramatic, compelling and, quite frankly, terrifying. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in how the world really works. I've never read anything like it. As I said in the title of this review, it's a stunning book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for True Crime Fans 7 Jun. 2011
I'm a big fan of crime books - any enjoy reading the likes of Tony Thompson and his books on UK gangs, Ross Kemp's Sky 1 series etc. After a friend recommended this book to me I decided to take a look and am really glad I did.
As with the best crime books it gives a fascinating insight into the underworld and I coulcn't put this one down. I heartily recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soviet enlightenment 3 Oct. 2011
This is the usual type of book I choose to read. Having a liking to know the detail of real life in various world regions, especially following political change and how this affects the lives of ordinary citizens. Outlaws Inc. follows the lives of ex soviet pilots who formed their own transport business. There is much detail in this book along with some good humour and sadness with the lives lost trying to make a living in a dangerous world. It took a while to lay the foundation of this story but became an enjoyabe read. Some sections I read twice to absorb all that was described. The authour's first hand experience of flying with these ex soviet airmen created an excellent insight into the dangers they faced. An excellent read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Air Cargo Shenanigans 31 July 2011
This is a pretty good read about a fascinating subject that has been little reported or understood. One unexpected and surprising consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union was that it threw onto the market a mass of surplus soviet air freighters and crews. These aircraft, originally designed for the military, were tough and versatile aircraft, equipped with excellent ramp loading capability allowing rough field operation, fast turnarounds and requiring negligable ground infrastructure. The crews were well trained and ready to operate worldwide and often with few scruples as to where they went, who they worked for or what they carried. There has been much focus on the role rich Gulf states such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have had on the international airline industry but in this business it was the far less well known Sharjah that provided a key no questions asked base for these nefarious operators.
The author does an excellent job of explaining how all this came about and how the crews operated. A personal participant on many flights he conveys very well the atmosphere and attitudes prevalent in this demi-monde of intrigue and danger. In the end as the aircraft aged and the crews chanced their arm once too often many came to a sticky end.
I appreciate the need for the author to preserve the anonomity of his sources but his studied vagueness does make me wonder at times whether he has crossed the line into fiction or at least embellishment.I also found his conclusion about this being controlled by the Russian Government, or at least nebulous figures within it somewhat exaggerated. The book could also have been edited down a bit and given a more coherent structure but it is still worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book 17 Mar. 2012
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's superbly written, expertly researched and gripping from start to finish. It's rare that non-fiction uncovers a story that's not even been hinted at elsewhere, but that's what Matt Potter has done. It reads like the best fiction but is better because you know it's true. Don't think it's just a story about the daring and adventure involved in gun-running, either. What it reveals about power and politics and charity is fascinating. And it's just as much a deeply moving human story of the pilots involved, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outlaws inc . 21 Sept. 2011
By rich
The book I wanted to read after listening to the interview with matt potter and that was that.its a thrilling tale of the human spirit comradeship and the looking after ones own while enduring some difficult and dangerous situations .its also a book of survival with a go anywhere anytime attitude to these men and machines and of powerful and corrupt which manipulate governments and NGOs across the globe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, explosive real-life adventure 5 Aug. 2011
By Andy P
It's hard to know what's more incredible: the international criminal network that links warlords and mercenaries with Western governments and aid organisations, or the fact that this story has never been told before. Matt Potter's book lifts the lid on the men who fly in and out of the world's most dangerous places with aid, guns, drugs, cash and weapons concealed in falling-to-bits, ex-Soviet army planes. If you've ever wondered how rebels get arms past UN sanctions, or who parachutes ransoms to Somali pirates, the answer's here. Potter, a London journalist, flew in these planes and takes you along for the white-knuckle ride. This is a brilliant book that will change the way you look at the world *****
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
Brilliant book - absolutely amazing
Published 3 months ago by Mr. T. P. Bedingfield
3.0 out of 5 stars Found it difficult to get into this book as appeared ...
Found it difficult to get into this book as appeared to repeat itself for the first 4 chapters. Overall it ended up as an interesting read with limited information
Published 5 months ago by Mark keen
3.0 out of 5 stars Started off ok but dragged after a while
The headline says it although I must be fair I have not finished it as I diverted to other books which probably sums it up
Published 13 months ago by Merewoodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Not my usual type of book but a very good,informative read
First read this paperback in the library and really enjoyed it.The author Matt Potter unlike some writers actually went out and met these heroes (those are my words /the men... Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Storey
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough tape to film the crash.........
Thoroughly enjoyed this story of modern day Han Solo's flying Russian beasts of the sky to some of the most dangerous places on earth.
Published 17 months ago by Stephen Girling
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
Interesting topic but I have tried to get into it several times and just couldn't get going. It actually provides a wider insight into why many Russians do what they do, however,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by SHyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great service, great price, great product
Book arrived as described (brand new) from UK to Canada in a great time...about 6 business days...and for a great price.
Published on 21 April 2012 by DR
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Topic, Repetitive Book
This book takes what is a truly interesting subject for about 40-60 pages and milks it over and over for 300 pages until bone dry. Read more
Published on 18 Jan. 2012 by A. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Outlaws inc
An excellent account of what happened to some of the ex Russian Airforce personnel. Very readable and gives an insight into covert operations from which a lot of shadowy figures... Read more
Published on 19 Nov. 2011 by keith mac
1.0 out of 5 stars The Author's an Outlaw for Selling This Book
I was seriously disappointed by this book. It was a topic I knew nothing about, so thought this would enlighten me. It didn't. Read more
Published on 6 Oct. 2011 by KevBhav
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