- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson (3 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 028307132X
- ISBN-13: 978-0283071324
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.5 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 949,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Outlaws Inc.: Flying with the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers Paperback – Unabridged, 3 Jun 2011
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'Outlaws Inc is an explosive read, full of heart-thumping excitement and brilliant detective work which shines a light into the darkest corners of the world. This story of flying mercenaries and their secret role in the world we all live in is all the more terrifying for being true' --Sean Rayment, author of Bomb Hunters and Defence & Security Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph
'A brilliantly told story. From the Eastern European crews, the action steadily progresses towards the larger players; it will dawn on everyone when they have reached the end of the book that these hardened airmen are mere expendable cogs in a giant machine. The laughs and action along the way make the book's overall sadness even more poignant. I will certainly buy a copy.' --Peter Danssaert, UN arms trade inspector & lead researcher, IPIS
'It's all very well to know that there is a global trade in illicit goods, and a small contingent of aviators willing to fly anything anywhere, but this is the only one inside story on the post-Soviet flyboys who represent such a key element in this hidden world. In all their boozy, devil-may-care glory, Matt Potter's unique book doesn't just offer up a fascinating tale of cratered runways, no-questions-asked drops, midnight flits, shell companies, hidden compartments and duct-taped aircraft of these men, it also tells us something about the modern world, and how for all society's efforts to make it regulated and respectable, there will always be those who thrive by finding ways to use, abuse and ignore the rules' --Dr Mark Galeotti, Academic Chair of the SCPS Center for Global Affairs, New York University, and author/editor of Organized Crime in History
'Outlaws Inc is the ultimate proof that the truth is stranger than fiction' --Brian Johnson-Thomas, journalist & member of the UN Security Council Panel of Experts
'A riveting homage to these extraordinary ex-Soviet planes and the dodgily heroic Russian and Ukrainian smugglers who fly and crash them' --John Sweeney, The Literary Review
'A chilling indictment of a worldwide failure of regulatory will' --Manchester Evening News
'Thrilling, provocative, and morally circumspect...a must read' --Goodreads.com
'Fascinating...it's Jason Bourne meets James Bond, only it's really happening, and it's happening now'
--Andy Ross, America Now
An extraordinary journey into the biggest, most impenetrable trafficking network the world has ever seen. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to sudden unemployment for hundreds of thousands of former Soviet soldiers, and essentially free-for-all looting of former Soviet military supplies. A large number of experienced military pilots and crew immediately went into business as "no problem" couriers (as in, "any cargo, any place, any time -- no problem") using ex-military Antonov and Ilyushin cargo jets. Due to the complete inability of any international agency to comprehensively monitor planes, companies, and crews, and the complete porousness of borders and customs operations in most of the developing world, these crews have thrived as couriers of cargo ranging from completely legitimate food aid to international sanction-busting arms (although the bulk of the money is made in the "gray" middle). Some of these businesses are more legit that others, but even so, there's no way to really know whether a particular flight is totally clean or not, since the crews are often make their money by smuggling tons of personal cargo. The beauty of the ecosystem is that there's enough plausible deniability for all governments involved, as well as the owners, and crewmen. The so-called "kingpins" you may have heard about, such as Viktor "The Merchant of Death" Bout (upon whom the film Lord of War is largely based), are only middlemen, there are people higher up the food chain who may or may not be very highly placed in former Soviet states such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
That story is pretty interesting, however Potter isn't able to tell it in a fluid or concise way.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 informationPublished on 25 Aug. 2014 by Mark keen