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Who's made most from breaking the law

Posted by Admin on May 11, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Part one of our shocking exposé on Scotland's underworld

From the News of the World


Lewis Rodden - £700,000

SENIOR detectives reckon the shady businessman has made a fortune from his firm P&B Security, which cops say uses intimidation to force businesses to sign big-money contracts to guard their properties.

Rodden was jailed for four years in 2005 - later reduced to two years on appeal - after being convicted of using threatening behaviour towards business rivals.

During his trial at the High Court in Kilmarnock, Rodden admitted having a samurai sword in public. Judge Andrew Hardie said Rodden's behaviour was like "organised crime in the United States in the last century".

Rodden, 51, is a former director of Ruchill Security, a company owned by controversial Bobby "Devil" Dempster, 62, who has successfully fought attempts to ban him from operating in the security industry. Police had alleged he is a gangster.

In December 2008, Rodden allegedly punched Dempster during a function at Celtic's Parkhead stadium.

Dempster later denied the claim, insisting he had simply fallen over.

Rodden stood trial on extortion charges at the Glasgow Sheriff Court trial in 2000, but was acquitted.


Hugh O'Donnell - £800,000

THE seedy vice boss was jailed for six months in July 2006 after he was convicted of running a brothel in Glasgow's West End.

O'Donnell, 54, made a mint from the notorious Parkgrove House sauna. The sauna was raided in June 2003, when cops confiscated bags of condoms, sex aids, a whip and body sauce. The women present admitted carrying out sexual favours in return for cash.

O'Donnell's legal team initially claimed the premises were used as a centre to help autistic children - saying the lap dancing poles were there to help disabled visitors.

Wall-mounted chains, shackles and mirrored ceilings were there for decoration, they insisted.

But O'Donnell later admitted living off immoral earnings when he appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

His lawyer claimed O'Donnell lived off state benefits of £110 and didn't have any financial links to Parkgrove House. But prosecutors proved he did take advantage of cash from the brothel and, in December 2007, he handed over £150,000 under proceeds of crime legislation.


Robert Wright - £850,000

THE 48-year-old drug dealer has been targeted by proceeds of crime legislation, but it is suspected he still has a fortune stashed away.

Wright was caught with £2.8 million of heroin after a surveillance operation at the fruit and vegetable market in Glasgow in 2007.

Undercover teams watched Wright arrive at the market in a Hyundai Santa Fe 4X4. Heavy holdalls were loaded into his vehicle before he drove off. Wright was followed by police and, after he stopped in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, plain clothes officers approached him.

He took a holdall from the rear of the car, but dropped it and began to run off. He was stopped a short distance away.

A total of 92 wrapped packages of heroin weighing 80lb were recovered from the holdalls.

Heroin worth a further £10 million was found when a lorry at Blochairn was searched later.

A proceeds of crime confiscation action was put in place that saw Wright's collection of art works, including some by Scottish artists Peter Howson and Frank McFadden, put up for auction. Watches by Raymond Weil and Armani also went under the hammer.

Wright was jailed for eight years, and £20,000 was handed over to the authorities.


John Gorman - £900,000

THE 54-year-old crook spent years amassing a fortune by supplying Ayrshire towns with heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

Gorman was jailed for 12 years in April 2006 at the High Court in Glasgow after he was snared as part of a Scottish Crime Drug Enforcement Agency initiative, codenamed Operation Folklore.

Gorman and fellow gang members Mushtaq Ahmed, 56, of Bradford, James Lowrie, 64, of the Wirral, Cheshire, and William McDonald, 51, of Renfrew, were also convicted of trying to launder £178,125 of cash. They were caught with cannabis, heroin and cocaine with street values of £250,000, £100,000 and £12,000 respectively.

Operation Folklore also involved the seizure by Spanish customs and undercover cops of £24 million worth of cannabis from a trawler in Cadiz.

Cops reckoned Gorman was involved in at least £61 million of deals and would have lost £5million of his own cash in the Spanish boat raid.

Ex-SCDEA boss Graeme Pearson said: "Gorman was basically a ned, but he was involved in huge importations of drugs to Scotland."


Margaret McGraw - £1Million

THE 59-year-old widow of Scots crimelord Tam McGraw is thought to have inherited his fortune.

McGraw, who died from a heart attack aged 55 in 2007, made his money from criminal activities and legitimate business.

He lived in Glasgow's East End in a house estimated to be worth £400,000. He also had homes in Spain worth millions.

McGraw's "legitimate" businesses included taxi firms, pubs, clubs and ice cream vans, which were ideal for money laundering.

Customs officers once seized £209,000 in cash from him and Irish authorities also confiscated a pub he owned in Donegal and a further £180,000.

In August 2008 Margaret won a court battle forcing the family of murdered gangland boss Gordon Ross, 36, to repay a £125,000 loan given to him months before he was killed in September 2002.

It also emerged that in October 2008 her husband had invested in a £5 million property development on Tenerife.

But the Spanish property developer disappeared with the cash a few months before McGraw's death.

Margaret remarried in 2009.


William Reid £1.2Million

THE Spanish-based hood has retained a large proportion of his ill-gotten gains despite being jailed as part of Operation Folklore.

Reid, 50, was targeted by cops investigating an international drugs ring, which saw 12 tons of cannabis seized off the trawler MV Squilla.

In September 2006, Glaswegian Reid was jailed for three years at a court in Madrid.

Alongside him in the court were Arno Podder, 38, from Estonia, and Sufian Mohammed Dris, 22, from Morocco. Both were given three-year jail terms.

Reid has been released from prison and is believed to be operating out of Marbella.


James Hamill - £1.25Million

THIS kingpin of the Scots drugs trade was worth at least £4 million when he was caged for 18 years in February 1998.

The former Celtic FC shareholder, 50, flooded the north east with heroin in the 1990s.

And he used the profits made from his evil deals to subsidise a champagne lifestyle.

Hamill, of Rutherglen, Glasgow, paid for three homes - for his two mistresses and his common-law wife Andrea Cullen. He drove top-of-the-range cars and even jetted to Europe first class for lunch.

He used cash from his drug deals to subsidise attempts to move into the illicit booze and cigarette trade.

Working from an industrial unit in Rutherglen, Hamill sent £6 million of heroin north every year.

His network supplied six major drug-dealing gangs in Aberdeen and the fishing port of Fraserburgh as he created a huge demand.

Hamill was a self-styled Mr Clean who preferred never to dabble in the vile product he was selling. His network of underworld contacts stretched to London, Manchester and South Africa.

Cops finally snared Hamill in September 1997 when they raided his homes, finding £370,000 of cocaine and heroin.

Convicted with Hamill was trusted lieutenant James Gemmill, 55, Craig Taylor, 40, and four other men.

Speaking after his conviction, Detective Superintendent Pat Shearer said: "He was an arrogant man with a huge ego, but that led to his downfall."

In July 2000, it emerged that the Crown had just confiscated £38,000 of Hamill's cash using proceeds of crime legislation.


David Santini £1.5Million

THIS drugs baron was once thought to be Scotland's second richest criminal - and had a £5million fortune when he was arrested in June 1997.

Santini, of Newarthill, Lanarkshire, made his fortune by importing heroin and then laundering the profits through pubs, clubs and restaurants.

He used his drug money to finance a millionaire's lifestyle, nurturing a love of fast cars and expensive foreign holidays. Santini, 44, who built up a wholesale fruit and veg business and owned 20 green grocer shops, was jailed for 13 years in October 1997 for drug dealing.

Authorities immediately tried to seize his fortune using the proceeds of crime legislation.

During his trial, the High Court in Glasgow heard how cops found Santini diluting pure heroin - which was worth an estimated £1.1 million - in a flat in Scotstoun, Glasgow. Officers videoed the raid and Santini can be seen in footage wearing rubber gloves stained with heroin as he was led from the property's kitchen into custody.

The operation was hailed as a major success by elite Scottish cops.

After his conviction, the Crown said they intended to seize £17,000 in cash found in Santini's bedroom plus two, 7 Series BMW cars.

In October 2001, prosecution lawyers succeeded in seizing £57,151 from Santini's fortune. In prison, cowering Santini feared for his life and paid other cons in Mars Bars to avoid falling victim to a gangland hit.

He was released in 2003.


The McGoverns - £1.95Million

THE McGoverns' fortune comes from an empire that includes taxis, pubs, a security firm - and racketeering.

Based in Springburn, north of Glasgow, they started out as moneylenders, shoplifters and small-time crooks.

But then Tony McGovern lead the family into Scotland's gangland elite by making a fortune from the drug trade.

He and brothers Joe, 47, Tommy, 43, James, 39, and Paul, 36, also watched the cash flow in from M&M Security, Network Private Hire taxis, numerous pubs, and a 24-hour garage and petrol station. But the family's wealth and influence have been on the slide since Tony was shot dead, aged 35, outside the New Morven Bar in 2002.

The gangland execution put the McGoverns firmly in the sights of the police, culminating in Operation Maple and a series of dawn raids in January 2004.

For a time the main Operation Maple target Russell Stirton, who is married into the family, was a trusted lieutenant.

Paul McGovern remains on life licence for the murder of school janitor Thomas Cushley in 1990. The McGoverns' shoplifting alliance with the Daniel family continues to plague Scotland's high streets.


Russel Stirton £2Million

THE former paratrooper was one of the first high-profile figures to have his assets frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The police probe into Stirton, codename Operation Maple, led to raids on his home in the Mugdock suburb of Glasgow, as well as Thomson's Bar in Springburn and a nearby petrol station.

All were linked to the notorious McGovern crime family. Detectives believed porn baron Stirton was "washing" money through his business empire on behalf of the McGoverns. Documents were removed from his house, along with almost £400,000 in cash.

Since 2004 Stirton has been fighting through the courts to have more than £5million in assets handed back to him and business partner Alexander Anderson, 51.

However, the Crown believe that a series of intelligence reports proved that he had made his fortune illegally, and that he tried to extort money from the lucrative taxi firm Network Private Hire.


The Lyons - 2.25Million

THE Lyons have made a fortune from their involvement in organised crime - and particularly the drugs trade.

The cash they have raked in from their criminal dealings has enabled them to build up a substantial property portfolio, including two houses in Cumbernauld worth a total of £500,000. But the notorious family - originally based in north Glasgow - have been dealt a number of serious blows in recent years.

Crime clan head Eddie, 52, is being pursued by Crown Office chiefs under proceeds of crime legislation for a reported six-figure sum after he was convicted of a £259,000 mortgage fraud.

His garage boss brother David, 51, lost his MOT licence after police told VOSA officials that he was involved in organised crime.

At first he insisted he would fight the claims, but has now named close friend Yvonne Campbell as the person in charge of vehicle examinations at the Lambhill site.

His nephew Michael, 21, was blasted to death outside the garage in 2006 in a gang hit by Raymond Anderson and James McDonald, who got 35 years for the murder.

Eddie's exiled son Steven Lyons, 30, has been lying low on the Costa Brava since cousin Michael's death.

And Paul Lyons, 29, was jailed for 12 years in April 2010 for the road rage killing of Mark Fleeman, 32.

Dad-of-two Mark, of Uttoxeter, Staffs, was forced off the M74 near Larkhall, Lanarkshire, in a smash that also left his 17-year-old passenger, Lee Allsup, fighting for his life.


The Daniels - £2.4Million

THE Daniels started their empire stealing scrap and running protection rackets and later moved on to big-time crime enterprises, dealing in firearms and drugs.

Originally from the Possilpark area of Glasgow, they were once considered to be among the biggest criminal organisations in the city, but have lost their influence and financial power in recent times.

Jamie Daniel, the head of the organisation, jailed for heroin smuggling through Heathrow Airport in 1983, runs the empire with help from brothers Ronnie and Norman.

Based from a number of scrap yards around the city, they were able to bring consignments of drugs into Glasgow and control a large part of the market.

However, persistent disruption by the police and the impact from underworld rivals has had a significant effect.

In June last year, Jamie Daniel, 53, was jailed for a year for a road rage incident close to his £400,000 home in Jordanhill, Glasgow. Three months earlier he suffered a heart attack as he tried to choke another prisoner in Barlinnie Prison while on remand.

The murder of key Daniel lieutenant Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll, 29, in an Asda car park in January 2010 also dealt the organisation a significant blow.

One area of the crime clan still in full operation is the shoplifting gang run by Annette Daniel and associate Jean McGovern. Last year police were raging when Aberdeen prosecutors dropped 26 charges against McGovern and Daniel in a deal that saw two of their minions take the rap for shop thefts.

The Daniel clan also run a number of cash-rich enterprises, such as car washes and taxi firms.


Ian Donaldson 2.5Million

THE 31-year-old tycoon was arrested in 2009 as part of Operation Sendero and he is facing money laundering and drug trafficking charges.

Recently released from a Madrid prison cell, Glaswegian Donaldson is on bail on the Spanish island of Tenerife.

Donaldson, along with fellow suspects Ronald O'Dea, 44, and Jim McDonald, 61, were targeted following the seizure of 70 kilos of amphetamines from a lorry in Oxfordshire heading for Scotland.

Spanish police have already seized assets worth £12 million on Tenerife.

The haul includes eight luxury homes, a fleet of sports cars and a yacht, which were all owned by Donaldson. One of his properties is a £1 million cliff-top villa.

Conservative estimates put his wealth at £2.5 million, but the latest probe into his remaining assets is expected to bump up that figure.


John Healy - 2.7Million

HEALY, 53, lived the high life after flooding Glasgow with cannabis. He then made a move into the pub trade and built a large property portfolio across the south of Glasgow.

Customs at Gatwick Airport confiscated £169,000 in cash from him after he returned to Britain from a trip to Spain.

Traces of cannabis resin were found on the notes which his brother-in-law, crime lord Tam McGraw, claimed was for a failed deal to buy a pub in the Costa Del Sol.

Healy was later jailed for smuggling hash into Scotland from Spain with McGraw in 1997.

Detectives had discovered he was using the cover of a mini-bus for a boys' football team to import hash. Police swooped on Healy on the M74 and found drugs worth £260,000.

In November 1999, Healy was ordered to pay the Crown £250,000 in a Proceeds of Crime action. In March 2000, it was reported that Healy sold a pub and five shops to fast food giant McDonald's in a £1million deal.


Robert Dempster - £3Million

THE controversial security firm boss hasn't been convicted of a crime since 1975, but Strathclyde Police believe 63-year-old Dempster is still firmly connected to the criminal fraternity.

Intelligence reports detail Dempster's links to drug dealing, gangland turf wars, and the exploitation of illegal immigrant labour.

Detectives also claim he has easy access to firearms and that his Ruchill Security firm rakes in up to £3 million a year.

His sons Robert Jnr and Barry are also believed by the police to be involved in serious and organised crime.

However, the family was handed a major boost in March when a sheriff ruled that a suspension preventing them working in the security industry was illegal.


Frankie Donaldson £3.5Million

THE hood - nicknamed Doughnuts - made his millions from smuggling drugs, cigarettes and booze into Scotland.

He has a taste for expensive Mercedes cars and owns properties in Spanish holiday island Majorca and Glasgow.

He was jailed in the 1980s for a drug offence and was at the centre of an assassination plot. In September 2000, cops disrupted a plot to kill Donaldson when they raided the Royal Oak pub in Nitshill, Glasgow, and arrested gangster John McCartney, 47, who was suspected of being the hitman assigned to take Donaldson out. McCartney was cleared at Glasgow Sheriff Court in June, 2001.

Donaldson earned his nickname because as a young man he was always hanging around a doughnuts stall in Glasgow's Barras market. He has a reputation for violence and once punched fellow gangster Grant McIntosh with a knuckle duster. Donaldson is a close pal of multi-millionaire drugs baron James Hamill, who was jailed for 18 years in 1997 for flooding the north east of Scotland with heroin.


Paul Johnston £3.73Million

THE disgraced cop and his ex-wife Marie pocketed a fortune from Guardion Security, which used gang thugs to secure big-money contracts.

The payroll included south Glasgow gangster Stewart "Specky" Boyd, convicted heroin dealer Craig Devlin and Michael Bennett and Stephen Scullion, who did time for an £80,000 coke deal.

In 2007, the Insolvency Service banned Marie Johnston from running a business after Guardion and two other security firms went under owing thousands to the taxman and to employees who had not been paid minimum wage.

Johnston, who was kicked out of the Strathclyde force after being jailed for insurance fraud in the 1980s, split from Marie in 2009.

The couple's assets included The Millhouse Hotel, Waterhead Farm and Chapeltoun House, all in or near Stewarton, Ayrshire. But fearing they may be targeted by asset-stripping cops, much of the empire has been sold off in recent years.


Paul Ferris - £4Million

HARDMAN Ferris says he is now squeaky-clean, insisting he left his criminal ways behind when he left jail in 2002.

He claims his money-making ventures are now totally legitimate - acting as a "consultant" to the security industry and helping write books on crime.

Ferris has used his income to build up a considerable property portfolio.

However, his criminal past means Ferris, 47, remains a target for the police.

He began his first adult jail sentence in 1986, when he was given three years for firearms offences.

In 1992, he was cleared of the murder of Arthur "Fatboy" Thompson Jnr, the son of his former mentor, the Glasgow godfather Arthur Thompson Snr.

But, in 1998 Ferris was again locked up, this time for conspiracy to sell firearms and explosives in London.

Ferris was arrested after a two-year MI5 and police operation. He had three 9mm MAC-10 submachineguns, two sawn-off shotguns, a Thompson submachinegun, hand guns, silencers and ammunition.

He was sentenced to 10 years, although it was reduced to seven and he served around four.

On his release in 2002 he announced he was quitting crime. The dad-of-four and his wife Carolyn, 31, now live in a farmhouse outside Stewarton, Ayrshire.

In March it was claimed that Ferris was being pursued for a £700 debt relating to an unpaid factor's bill on a flat in Ardrossan. But it emerged that bill was, in fact, owed by his son, also Paul.


Alexander Donnelly - £6Million

DRUG chief Donnelly remains one of Scotland's richest criminals - despite being forced to hand over almost £450,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

Donnelly's first stretch behind bars came in 1996 when he was jailed for four-and-a-half years for involvement in the supply of heroin.

At that time, he was stripped of assets worth £270,000 - then the largest confiscation order made in Scotland under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Donnelly, 54, from Glasgow, was jailed again on drug charges in 2006 at the city's High Court. He admitted running a cocaine gang.

Police had uncovered a factory producing the Class A drug at a house in the Scotstoun area of Glasgow. One raid uncovered £116,000 of cocaine hidden under a shower.

When he was jailed for 10 years, Donnelly handed over £177,000 without a whimper.

But it's thought that the hood still has a considerable amount of drug cash stashed away.

He is said to be building a luxury home to move into when he is released from prison.


William O'Neil - £8Million

FORMER heroin kingpin O'Neil has tried to reinvent himself as a respectable art dealer and businessman.

In 2001, O'Neil - known as Willie Getaway - was jailed for seven years after being caught with £250,000 worth of deadly heroin.

The 44-year-old dealer had been the "principal target" of a two-year probe by drug police.

Not long after his release, O'Neil founded Art & Soul in Glasgow, which dealt mainly in works by celebrity artist Peter Howson. O'Neil also did business importing furniture from Indonesia, and has links to the Bankroll cafe in the Milton area of Glasgow.

He currently shares a lavish £1.5million home in the posh village of Bardowie, north of Glasgow, with his partner Denise McNeil.

But the couple are both being investigated by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Top brass at Strathclyde Police have also asked Glasgow City Council to block a bid by a taxi company linked to O'Neil to secure an operating licence.

Last October, Christopher Cummins, 47 - a close associate of O'Neil - failed to fight the seizure of £200,000 under proceeds of crime laws.


James Nisbet £12Million

THE 55-year-old convicted smuggler walked away with an £11 million profit from a single land deal.

In 2001, Nisbet paid out just £475,000 for the 42-acre former Costain plant in Newmains, Lanarkshire. Seven years later, he sold it to a construction firm for £12million in a deal that made him one of Scotland's richest criminals.

Nisbet was caged in December 2002 after customs officers smashed his massive bootleg cigarettes operation.

Manchester Crown Court was told he and crony Nashtar Singh, 35, were thought to be the UK end of a sophisticated worldwide criminal ring.

They'd plotted to bring up to 75 million cigarettes into the UK by shipping them through Singapore and Greece. But agents swooped on the gang after a raid on a container unit in Durham in 1999. Nisbet served two-and-a-half years.

The Nisbet family are notorious in the criminal underworld. James's son Stephen, 28, was jailed for life in June 2003 for the horrific murder of David James, 37, who was tortured with a hot iron and bludgeoned after being thrown from a first-floor window.

Godfather Nisbet was also suspected of ordering the killing of his 25-year-old nephew John - one of two drug dealers shot and dumped in a field near Elphinstone, East Lothian, in 1999. John and William Lindsay, 26, were believed to have been murdered in a contract hit. Their bodies were burned beyond recognition and the killer never caught.

Nisbet and wife Pat own a £192,000 farm in the Forth Valley and property in Lanarkshire.



Categories: Glasgow Drugs

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