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White Gold: The Inside Story Of The UK's Largest Ever Drugs Haul [Paperback]

Eugene Costello , Howard Marks
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2005

Three fishermen from the Scottish Highlands received a total of 55 years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling into Britain cocaine worth more than 100 million - the biggest drugs seizure by customs officials in the country's history' - The Times

Throughout the '70s and '80s, the Highland fishing village of Ullapool was a tough place to make a living. With huge Eastern bloc factory ships buying up the local catch, however, there was money to be made for those who had the stomach for it. Renowned for its lawlessness - drinking and fighting offered the Friday-night entertainment - it was no place for the squeamish.

One man was gaining quite a reputation for himself locally - Chris Howarth, known to everyone as 'Crazy Chris'. In the summer of '89, he met an expatriate Scot living in Malaga (referred to as 'Mr X' in the subsequent trial) who offered him some work of a dubious nature and set in motion a chain of events that would lead to what would be the UK's largest ever drugs haul.

Around the same time, working on a tip-off from a local informant and intelligence from their Spanish counterparts, Customs and Excise became aware of a major plot to smuggle huge amounts of drugs into the UK around Ullapool. As a result of this information, Operation Klondyke was born.

For the next 18 months, Howarth and Mr X would be under constant surveillance. The trail would lead from Ullapool and the east coast of Scotland to the Costa del Sol, Gibraltar and Venezuela. It would uncover distribution channels from Colombia's notorious Cali cartel to Europe and North America, operated by ruthless Spanish smuggling outfits. And it would finally lead to the UK's most valuable seizure of drugs, on a Scottish road as it was being transported down to the lucrative London market - half a tonne of virtually pure Colombian cocaine.

White Gold at last tells the inside story of Operation Klondyke - seen through the eyes of both the hunters and the hunted.


Frequently Bought Together

White Gold: The Inside Story Of The UK's Largest Ever Drugs Haul + Powder Wars: The Supergrass who Brought Down Britain's Biggest Drug Dealers
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (3 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840189827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840189827
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'A great story, full of hilarious characters' **** - FHM"

"'A grimly fascinating tale of a life lived on the wrong side of the tracks' - Mail on Sunday"

"'The story unfurls with pace' - Scotland on Sunday"

Book Description

'Three fishermen from the Scottish Highlands received a total of 55 years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling into Britain cocaine worth more than 100 million - the biggest drugs seizure by customs officials in the country's history - THE TIMES. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars white gold 10 April 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Gotta say, as a native of Ullapool, the stories been a bit glamourised, but still a great read.
Growing up we all knew that our some of our mates fathers were in jail for drugs, but it was never talked about so its really interesting to actually hear what really went on that year.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I don't normally go in for true crime books but,
following a recommendation from a friend, I thought
I'd give White Gold a go. I'm glad I did - I couldn't
put it down. It's one of those books that you find
yourself snatching every possible moment to read - on
the Tube, in your lunch hour - it's a real page
turner. The book is obviously based on months of
research - Costello cites court records, laws, social
work reports - but he has pulled them all together in
such a way as to make you feel you are almost reading
a thriller, with a polished, pacy plot and crackling
dialogue.
What's really clever about it is that you get the
story from varuious perspectives, including the
smugglers, the police and Customs, so it's never
black-and-white.
By the last few chapters, it becomes completely
unputdownable as you are desperate to find out what
happens. It made me think about the stories behind the
headlines on drugs busts and in his thought-provoking
final chapter, Costello puts the whole question of our
drugs laws into context. Brilliant stuff - I'll be
reading it again on holiday and now know what to buy for friends and family for Christmas.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 30 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback
Read a review of this book describing as Whisky Galore with coke, or something like that - great description. It's basically about a bunch of hopeless fishermen getting caught up in this mad plan to b4ring all this coke in, and it's hilarious. I like the bits on the boat best where they end up going to South America to pick the stuff up, it's unbeleivable how they nearly got away with it. Maybe a bit too much journo detail but that's my only niggle. Very funny, well written and a great story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pace & Humour 18 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the extroadinary story of a huge drugs bust that at it's time was Britain's biggest and had the press in full cry for "maximum justice". The reader sees the story unfold from both sides as customs close in on the unsuspecting traffickers. White Gold is the compelling account of two competing men, but only one would win. Don't miss it.
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