Empire of Crime: Opium and the Rise of Organized Crime in the British Empire

Empire of Crime: Opium and the Rise of Organized Crime in the British Empire

by Tim Newark

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Sometimes the best intentions can have the worst results. In 1908, British reformers banned the export of Indian opium to China. As a result, the world price of opium soared to a new high and a century of lucrative drug smuggling began. Just as the banning of alcohol in America during Prohibition made illicit fortunes for the Mafia and other gangsters, organized criminals grew rich on the trade of illegal narcotics throughout the British Empire.

Empire of Crime introduces the reader to a whole new collection of heroes and villains, including US international drug-buster Harry J. Anslinger, Shanghai underworld master criminal Du Yue-sheng, and tough North-West Frontier police chief Lieutenant-Colonel Roos-Keppel, nemesis of Afghan criminal gangs. The book shows how gangsters exploited the Empire’s global trade routes to establish criminal networks across the world. In many ways, these early drug dealers were the forerunners of today’s cartels.

Digging deep into colonial archives, author Tim Newark weaves hidden reports, secret government files and personal letters together with first-hand accounts to tell this epic but little-known story of the battle between law enforcement and organized crime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510723474
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Tim Newark is the author of the critically acclaimed biography of mafia gangster Lucky Luciano and the groundbreaking Mafia at War. For seventeen years he served as editor of Military Illustrated, and he has written numerous military history books, including Highlander. Newark has worked as a scriptwriter and historical consultant on documentary series for BBC Worldwide and the History Channel. Newark lives in Bath, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

1 The Unfortunate Mr Hartley 13

2 The Impressive Lt-Col Roos-Keppel 29

3 The Tragic Miss Carleton 43

4 The Formidable Russell Pasha 56

5 The Fearless Mr Anslinger 70

6 The Daring Sir Cecil 84

7 The Deadly Inspector Fairbairn 95

8 The Mutilated Inspector Hutton 110

9 The Pretty Orphan Gangoo 123

10 The Lucky Mr Lai 131

11 The Smart Commissioner Young 147

12 The Wrong-Headed Mr Anslinger 161

13 The Implacable Mr Stern 172

14 The Bestial Mr Uku 186

15 The Blacked-Up Inspector Drummond 198

16 The Obliging Mr Lou 211

17 The Whistle-Blowing Inspector Wallace 223

18 The Gold-Fingered Mr Knowles 235

Notes on Sources 249

Bibliography 262

Index 266

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