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Therefore it is ridiculous of David Leigh to assert in his authorised Howard Marks biography High Times that in the spring of 1970 Mandy Plinston sent Marks to Frankfurt to investigate her dope smuggling partner's disappearance. As should already be clear, Mandy Plinston knew of the bust before Howard Marks; as did my mother Julia Callan-Thompson, my mother's boyfriend of the time Bruno de Galzain, Geoff Thompson’s partner of the time Jane Ripley, Charlie Radcliffe, Alex Trocchi and many others immersed in the London

Reuters news agency wire of 18 March 1970 led, for example, to coverage on page 5 of the London Times the following day headlined Britons Held On Drugs Charge. This report makes it clear that both Plinston and Geoff Thompson were in jail after the discovery of 'about 105lbs of hashish in their car', and that they had been arrested upon entering Germany 'from Switzerland on February 26.' The Times piece explicitly cites information contained within it as being provided by a British consulate spokesman in Stuttgart, and the authorities notified Thompson and Plinston’s families of the arrests before speaking to the press about them.

counterculture. The claim made by Leigh and some later writers to the effect that Howard Marks learnt of the bust by looking through German newspapers in Frankfurt, and then relayed this 'discovery' back to the UK, is utterly spurious. Its reiteration demonstrates the rather dubious status of a number of texts that claim to provide inside information on the dope trade. 8. John Pearson, The Profession of Violence: The Rise & Fall of the Kray Twins (London: Grafton Books, 1985); John Pearson, The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays (London: Orion, 2001). Cooper is often referred to as The Yank rather than by his name in the ghostwritten gibberings of Kray camp followers. Those wanting to look further at the extensive if often wildly inaccurate literature about the Krays might start with Albert Donoghue and Martin Short, The Enforcer: Secrets of my life with the Krays (London: John Blake Publishing, 2001) or Reg Kray, Born Fighter (London: Arrow, 1991). However, Pearson’s Profession of Violence in its various revised editions from 1972 on remains the best work on the subject. 9. Pearson, The Profession of Violence, p. 281.





Morland began his first jail sentence for smuggling in America. After sailing his 47 foot ketch loaded with hash from Morocco to the US in July 1971 and being caught upon entry, he was jailed for eight years and fined $15,000. The Times tersely covered Morland’s second bust on 4 June 1972 under the headline ‘London Man Jailed in US Drug Case’. After doing time for his first two ‘crimes’, Morland was next nicked attempting to land cannabis worth £3.5 million in northern Scotland. When he was jailed for nine years and had assets of more than £232,000 confiscated, The Times of 25 June 1991 covered the case under the headline ‘Drug Smuggler – Francis Morland’: Unfortunately this 1989 bust was not his last, nor did the 1991 judgement result in his final stiff sentence. Abbot who has never been busted told me recently he considered Morland careless, while Morland described Abbot as a percentage man who played safe by making money out of his contacts.

wife Susan was said to be only on the fringe of the gang and was fined £500 for possession of cannabis and cannabis resin.

Morland’s first bust occurred in October 1969, hot on the heels of his Axiom show. The art world reacted with horror, seeing taking drugs as one thing and smuggling them as quite another. Morland’s career as a professional sculptor came to an abrupt halt, and he was dropped by many of his professional friends. The charges against him took some time to wend their way to a conclusion in the courts but The Times dutifully covered this on 23 March 1971 under the heading ‘Diplomats In Drug Ring, Crown Says’. Morland failed to answer his bail so he wasn’t actually up before the beak. Others not present were a Mr Khaled and Fulton Dunbar, Third Secretary at the Liberian Embassy in Rome. Morland and Dunbar were said to have made statements admitting their guilt and that of others. Morland’s partner Keith Wilkinson pleaded not guilty and so was tried separately. It was claimed the gang smuggled £150,000 worth of cannabis into the UK, and had plans to ship a lot more around the world. In the dock was Robert Paul Palacios who used his catamaran to transport the drugs from Morocco to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, from where he drove them to London in a Rolls-Royce car. Palacios who’d been hired to do the job by Morland was fined £4000. Morland’s

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