Howard Marks – cops are winning war on drugs

Posted on 15 August 2009
By Purple Revolver
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Dope legend Howard Marks reckons detectives are winning the war against the drug smuggling trade because of advances in technology such as GPS.

At the height of his smuggling empire Howard had 43 aliases each with their own passport, 89 phone lines, and 25 companies trading throughout the world.

A BBC film adaptation of his best-selling autoboigraphy Mr Nice, with Harry Potter star and chief caner Rhys Ifans in the title roll is due out next year.

American Psycho star Chloë Sevigny plays his wife Judy and to keep ageing hippy Howard happy they gave him a cameo as a stoner Dutch coffee shop owner.

The author, now 63, was dubbed ‘Mr Nice’ for his charming nature by the CIA when he controlled around 10 per cent of the world’s hash supply.

Howard, from Bridgend, Wales, spent time in the notoriously violent US Terre Haute prison for smuggling offences.

He described how the friends he keeps in the trade say infiltrating the narcotics police squads is the only way to gain an advantage.

And plots from Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed, which see a drug gang mole placed in police training as a teenager are becoming a way of life.

Speaking at the exclusive Vincent Hotel in Southport, Howard said: “It was so much easier in my day to get going in the smuggling trade.

“I’m not sure I could achieve the level I did if I was starting out now.

“The cops know where you are at every given moment thanks to huge advances in technology like GPS and tracking devices.

“Back in my day we had the upper hand and even had better technology than the police.

“But I doubt I could smuggle a peanut these days.

“Its all about infiltration these days and insider knowledge.

“Kids will be placed inside to get in on what the cops know and also there will be rats in drugs gangs. That’s what the game has become these days.

“Schemes like the one played out in that film The Departed are definitely happening out there.

“Good guys are selling info to the bad guys and vice versa.

“Not that I have a hand in it anymore, but I know because I’ve still got friends in the business and they keep me up to speed.”