Liverpool (UK) Daily Post reporter Jonathan Caswell says the man who helped put notorious Liverpool drugs baron Curtis Warren behind bars has revealed how he infiltrated Britain's biggest drug gang.
UK book reveals cocaine smuggled into
Britain in lead ingots from Venezuela
Warren is now serving 12 years in a Dutch jail after being caught in 1996. His organization was infiltrated by chance by Paul Grimes who also helped bring down drug boss John Haase and help UK Customs & Excise seize £230 million (US$418 million) of narcotics. Grimes, a 53-year-old father-of-three launched his one-man crusade against drug traffickers after his own son died of a heroin overdose ... but his fight against the ruthless drug lords has meant he is a marked man with a $182,000 price tag on his head.
The former millionaire gangster is now on the witness protection program following his decision to turn 'super grass' (informer). He has now detailed all in a book called "Powder Wars." It tells of his time making millions as leader of the 'Hole in the Wall' gang ... a band of warehouse raiders and hijackers based in Liverpool.
But Grimes refused to "dirty" his hands with narcotics -- instead seeking revenge when his son Jason dropped out of the Royal Navy at 19 because of a heroin habit which eventually killed him. Grimes turned himself over to Customs & Excise officers as an informant targeting Curtis Warren ... officially Britain's wealthiest and most successful villain ever captured.
Warren was smuggling vast amounts of cocaine into the UK direct from Colombia's Cali Cartel and it is estimated that he amassed a fortune of as much as +US$90 million while Dutch police reckon it is closer to $2 billion.
Grimes also set his sights on John Haase ... an old colleague in crime who was even employing Grimes' second son, Heath. He managed to gain the trust of the Warren gang with a million-to-one stroke of luck. "In the first week of November 1991, a 500 kilo load of cocaine was smuggled into Britain from Venezuela hidden in X-ray proof lead ingots. A villain called 'Snowball,' who used to work for my crew as a hijacker, was working for Warren ... his job was drilling into the ingots and removing the cocaine."
After extracting the cocaine, Snowball's team were supposed to bury the lead in a demolition site, but they double-crossed the Cartel by selling it for scrap. Grimes: "I couldn't believe they were willing to risk a 500 kilo shipment of coke for $1,000 worth of scrap ... I had a scrap yard and so the gang approached me. Once I was in, Snowball and the gang couldn't stop blabbing how great they were. Customs could then identify Warren's gang. Snowball then told me the next shipment of 1,000 kilos was coming in the same way two months later. Customs were waiting and recovered 908 kilos."
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