June 25, 2009
Señor Nice - Howard Marks
During the mid-1980s Howard Marks had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines and owned twenty-five companies trading throughout the world. At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organisations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia.
Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released in 1995. ‘Señor Nice’ is the sequel to ‘Mr Nice’ and tells the story of what happened next.
Inspired by his Welsh ancestry which included being related to William Owen - a legendary Welsh smuggler who operated for some time out of South America - and his great-great-grandfather Patrick McCarty who was the half-brother of Billy the Kid (and who also managed to fall in with Butch Cassidy’s gang in Patagonia), Howard Marks adventures into South America to explore his lineage and the Welsh connection in such far flung places that are a little way down the road from Kenfig Hill, south Wales.
Howard Marks’ travels take him through Jamaica and Panama in the footsteps of the Welsh buccaneer Henry Morgan, and also Brazil where he searches in vain for the obscure Welsh settlers (somehow happening across Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin in the process), and on through Patagonia where he searches for Billy the Kid’s half-brother and thus his own ancestrally Wild West heritage.
Very comical and charged throughout with the sense of adventure that would induce an Oxford graduate to become the world's most notorious smuggler, Señor Nice is the extremely entertaining follow-up to Howard Marks' autobiography, Mr Nice.