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Raphael Rowe

News & Current Affairs:
Underworld Rich List: Drug Barons

May 17th, BBC THREE, 9pm

The first programme investigates the Mister Bigs of the drugs trade, including:

Mickey Green: a London armed robber turned major league drug trafficker.

Curtis Warren: a Toxteth street dealer who hit the big time.

Brian Wright: a professional gambler, now fugitive cocaine baron.

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"We were not law abiding citizens, we were armed; an armed gang bent on robbing the security van that picked up money and, when you go to work under those circumstances, you know what the craic is.

"In those days, in the sixties and the seventies, money was very easy to get from these security people, you know, their security was a joke, you know, the vans were a joke, so that was the reason, simply because the money was there, it was just a matter of having the bottle, if you like, to go and get it."

- ‘Frank’, former armed robber who worked with Mickey Green then went on to become a big time drug trafficker.

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"I think I was one of the first people down there to bring cocaine onto the streets. Once people realised how much money was involved, then people started jumping on the bandwagon, to make the money.

"Well I looked on it as a business. Um, cos that’s what it was to me. I mean, I’m a villain. If I do something I look at it as a business, and to me that was a business. I hadn’t stolen anything; I bought cocaine, I manufactured crack and sold it at a profit.

"I’m a person; I like things now, not next week or next year. People want to go on holiday, they’ll save up to go on holiday. That’s not me. I want to go on holiday, I want to go when I want to go. If I say I’m going next week, I want to go next week. I don’t want to save up for the year just to go on holiday. And drugs is the one."

- Colin Borrows, former drug dealer and friend of Curtis Warren.

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"If you had a business going that was giving you a quarter of a million pound, half a million pound every month, would you want to say 'I’ve got enough now, I’ve got half a million pound'? Most people don’t.

"If it goes wrong, you can be in really, really big trouble. You can have a reception committee waiting for you: police, customs, navy... and they go for you and they want to put you in prison for a long time.

"You try to bank offshore. You don’t live an explosive lifestyle. You try to live comfortably without causing any attention to yourself. Sometimes that’s very difficult, particularly if you’ve had a really successful time.

How you can clean up money? You can just... you can buy cars, sell cars; you can buy land, different things... there’s everything. You can buy diamonds; you can buy gold; anything that you feel that is safe money for you."

- Rinaldo Donati, former cannabis smuggler.

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The Programmes



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The Drug Barons Underground Rich List:

£100million+ Brian Wright
£100million Michael Tyrrell
£80million+ Curtis Warren
£75million Mickey Green
£55million A Liverpool godfather (can’t be named for legal reasons)
£50million A London crime family (can’t be named for legal reasons)
£30million David Huck
£20million+ Brian Charrington
£20million Walter Douglas
£14million Thomas McGraw

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