Back in the 70s Howard Marks moved marihuana supplies sometimes as big as 30 tons, working together with the CIA, IRA, MI6 and countless other state, criminal and paramilitary organizations. A chat with the man who is best known under his synonym “Mr. Nice”.
What‘s the most common reason for a smuggling operation being blown?
Almost without exception, smuggling operations, even those (perhaps especially those) that have been carefully prepared, go wrong as a result of those involved talking to other people about the intended scam or being careless in their use of telephone calls and emails.
Yes, one can always pack it in airtight metal tins. To be really careful, put the marijuana in a tin, seal it, then cover it with thick layers of grease or fat, and put into a larger tin. Fill the space between the two tins with more grease, and seal the outside tin. Finally wash down the outside of the outer tin in a room where there is not a trace of marijuana. Get and train your own sniffer dog as a final test. Speaking about bigger amounts: Is it actually true that those are shipped in containers, just like any other oversea goods? Is hiding still an issue in this quantity? Yes of course big amounts are shipped in containers the same as any other commodity. Sometimes hiding is necessary or at least advisable. It depends on the particular port and the scanners used when loading or unloading. You are often referred to as the „king of daringness“ – Have you always been daring or did you learn it during your career? I wasn’t always daring. I think I learnt it during my career, but once you decide to go for it, surrender to that feeling, and really go for it. The most ridiculous urban legend when it comes to smuggling marihuana? I don’t know if there are any what I would call “urban legends” – stories that are propagated as truth but aren’t in the marijuana smuggling business. There are, of course, plenty of tales of people smuggling all kinds of drugs when they didn’t realise they were doing so. I suspect some of those might well have grown into urban legends.