Malcolm Nelson worked for 40 years for HM Customs, most of that time catching smugglers at Heathrow Airport in London. Since retirement in 2005 he has developed a series of talks. The groups he talks to vary from Womens Institutes to after dinner talks for Rugby Clubs and Wine Tasting Circles. He also “lectures” on board cruise ships.
(Note this is only a sample of available talks)
Outlining a very brief history of Customs from the 8th Century to the present day. Then explaining the organisation and strategies used by HM Customs to maximise the effect of their limited resources. This is taken down to a very basic level and includes many of my own experiences both as a working officer and as a senior manager of officers.
An insight into just why an officer decides to stop a particular person. Having stopped them what might make them decide to go on and search them and their baggage. If they do search the baggage where are they likely to find drugs. Using many of my own experiences to highlight the bizarre incidents that arise in this role.
Particular stress being put on the questioning that will indicate a possible offence.Â What revenue goods are we interested in , jewellery, watches, fur coats etc. Instances of revenue seizures I have made and again the strange circumstances that often accompany them.
Taking a famous drugs offence from it’s first interception in the Green channel through to the verdict in the Crown Court at Isleworth. The case involved two offenders. One with 300 packages of cocaine concealed internally. The other, the minder,Â with nothing but a piece of a blue balloon in his pocket. The audience are invited to come to a verdict and a sentence.
The first part is a slide show showing many drug concealments and giving the story behind them. The second part is an open forum. I do this because I find that I am asked many questions outside of my talks, in the bar etc, and it is an opportunity to bring these questions to the whole of the audience.
ThisÂ talk/lecture takes us from 742 when King Ethelbald of Mercia introduced the first form of taxes through to the 10th century when Athelred introduced the first import duties at Billingsgate and we have evidence of the first smuggler. Then on to the first organised smuggling which was exports of wool and further on to the massive smuggling industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. The various draconian Acts of Parliament and the social and economic reasons behind the smuggling epidemic.
This talk takes a look at famous smugglers of the past and present. It tries to separate the fact from the fiction and brings up names that are still famous today in certain areas. Each one is unique in their own way and they vary from the barbaric to the romantic.
Gangs as large as 500 men dominated large parts of the countryside especially in the South East. They are possibly the first example of organised crime. They provided solicitors for those who were caught, doctors for those Â who were wounded, and paid families silence money when their menfolk were incarcerated. They also collected protection money and perpetrated horrendous murder on those who stood in their way. This talk concentrates on two of these crimes as they are now seen as the catalystÂ for the change in public opinion against the smuggler.