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Gangsters' Wives tells the side of the story you didn't know - what it's like to live with Britain's most lawless men, from the women who married them. Devoted mum-of-three Judy Marks was imprisoned alongside her husband, notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks; while Flanagan, the first ever Page Three girl, found herself splashed across the papers as the fiancee of legendary East End villain Reggie Kray.

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Jenny Pinto, wife of gangster Dave Courtney, has given the police keys to their house to stop them breaking down the front door. In ten funny, moving, searingly honest first-person accounts, Gangsters' Wives tells you all you ever wanted to know about the lives and loves of the women who are, quite literally, married to the mob. Added to basket. The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper. James Carnac. Val McDermid. Roberto Escobar. Peterhead Porridge. James Crosbie. Iceberg Slim. Cocky paperback. Tony Barnes.


Hotel K. Kathryn Bonella. Haruki Murakami. The Gangs Of Birmingham. Philip Gooderson.

Carlton Leach. Erik Larson. The following investigation led back to the Turkish kingpin, who was held in jail after being arrested due to suspected links to the importation plot. Now able to tap into his conversations, Dutch investigators found out the same underworld figure had a stake in a 1,kg cocaine shipment hidden in bananas that had arrived from Colombia the month before. But, in what appears to have been an outrageous scam by a rival gang, the cocaine had been unloaded before reaching the Turkish gangster's footsoldiers. The company operating as a front for the drug imports had, days earlier, received a letter from Belgian port officials to say the banana shipment would be checked as it travelled through Antwerp.

So at the time the Turkish gangster had his heroin shipment busted, he was already reeling from the loss of his cocaine. In The Netherlands, a melting pot of criminal factions where many of the most terrifying gangs in the world have representatives, he turned to The Maniac. The man, known as "that crazy Englishman", then embarked on an extortion plot that saw him surround the Rotterdam home of the father-in-law of his target. Pressure was put on his associates - a grenade, it was said, would be thrown into a restaurant linked to him.

Underworld UK: Gangsters' Wives: Married to The Mob by Tammy Cohen -

One would have gone into the family home had children not been present. After a terrifying meeting with the father-in-law - in which The Maniac pulled out pictures of his family, told him of their daily routines and revealed he had placed tracking devices on some of their vehicles - the man from Liverpool moved to step things up. He was set to kidnap the target's wife and, it appears, use a Moroccan gang to hold her hostage in the cellar of a farm - possibly for months. Later the same day he was pulled over by police, who discovered what amounted to a kidnappers' toolkit in the Skoda Octavia he was riding in.

The terrifying example of a Liverpool man operating at the highest level of the international underworld is just the latest incident to highlight how Merseyside's most prolific criminals still play a role on that stage. There is a suggestion in the court documents that half of the cocaine shipment linked to the Turkish drugs boss may have been destined for Merseyside. Last year the ECHO revealed how four men from Liverpool were sentenced by the Dutch courts after being associated with an 1,kg cocaine plot. The shipment followed repeated visits by two of the men to Colombia - though claims the pair sourced the drugs direct from South America were dismissed by a Dutch judge.

Twelve months ago attention moved from Merseyside's connections with South America to those with the Middle East when a massive shipment of heroin destined for Liverpool was stopped by the authorities in The Netherlands. Customs officers discovered 58kg of the Class A drug when they searched a container on a ship as it travelled through Rotterdam.

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The cargo was thought to have been sent from Iran - often used as a transit route by drug traffickers looking to move heroin produced in neighbouring Afghanistan to other parts of the world. While Amsterdam grabs much of the limelight as an international drug dealing meeting point, Rotterdam - home to one of the largest ports in Europe - is another key destination.

It was there where the now infamous Cafe De Ketel operated as a meeting spot for some of the world's most powerful drugs gangs. When elite Dutch police raided the cafe in November they found two handguns, a radio scanner, hundreds of thousands of Euros, a cash-counting machine and dozens of mobile phones. During other raids as part of the same police operation in Rotterdam police seized two machine guns. And the raids sparked manhunts for two Liverpool men.


Paul Moogan, said to be linked to the Croxteth area, has been a wanted man since then. The National Crime Agency wants to question him about a large-scale conspiracy to import cocaine from Europe into the UK.