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Authors: Howard Marks

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Mr Nice: an autobiography

BOOK: Mr Nice: an autobiography
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Mr Nice

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9781407066301

Published by Vintage 1998

2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1

Copyright © Newtext Limited, 1996, 1997

Howard Marks has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

First published in Great Britain by Martin Secker & Warburg in 1996

Vintage Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA

Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can be found at:

The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN 9780749395698

The Random House Group Limited supports The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certification organisation. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace approved FSC certified paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at

Printed and bound in Great Britain by [production to supply]






About the Author

By the Same Author







Master Marks


Mr Marks


Mr McCarthy


Mr Hughes




Mr Nice


Howard Marks




Mr Dennis


D. H. Marks


Mr Tetley, Not


Dennis Hooward Marks


Señor Marco


Marco Polo





To my son, Patrick Marks


Howard Marks is an acclaimed travel and sports writer, TV personality, and DJ. For the last ten years he has had a series of successful one man shows. He lives in Europe and continues to campaign for the legalisation of marijuana.




The Howard Marks Book of Dope Stories Señor Nice


I would like to thank the following for their assistance, support, and editing: Ann Blain, David Godwin, Bee Grice, Judy Marks, Amber Marks, Francesca Marks, Geoffrey Mulligan, Mick Tyson, and Helen Wild


I was running out of passports, ones I could use. In a few weeks I intended to visit San Francisco to pick up several hundred thousand dollars from someone keen to exploit his connections, both with me and with a bent US Customs Officer working in the imports section of San Francisco International Airport.

A few years earlier, I had been declared the most wanted man in Great Britain, a hashish smuggler with documented links to the Italian Mafia, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the IRA, and the British Secret Service. A new identity was vital. I’d already gone through about twenty different identities, most of which had been backed up by a passport, driving licence, or other indicators of documented existence, but they’d all either been discovered by friends/enemies or compromised by featuring in some suspicious trail meandering through a recent scam.

We drove to Norwich. After a couple of awkward meetings with go-betweens, I was introduced to a gentle guy named Donald. I couldn’t tell if he was a drinker, a stoner, or a straighter. His kitchen gave no clues. He looked normal, except that his eyes danced like those of a villain.

‘We can talk privately out here,’ he said and took me to a garden shed.

‘I need a passport, Don, one that’ll stand up to all checks.’

‘You can have mine. I won’t be needing one. But there’s one problem.’

‘What’s that?’

‘I’ve just done twelve years of a life sentence for murder.’

Convicted murderers, although clearly people with a criminal record, would rarely be declared as unwelcome at a country’s borders. They were regarded as mere menaces to individuals rather than threats to the fabric of society. The latter attribute tended to be restricted to dope dealers and terrorists.

‘I’ll give you a grand for it,’ I said, ‘and a few hundred quid from time to time when I need more back-up.’

I was thinking of a driving licence, medical card, local library card. Just a passport with no supporting identification is suspicious. A membership card to the local billiards club, obtainable cheaply and without proof of identity, is enough to give the required credibility.

‘That’s the best deal I’ve ever been offered for anything.’

‘What’s your last name, Don?’ I asked. I’d been lumbered with some terrible ones in the past.


‘How do you spell it?’

‘N-I-C-E, just like the place on the Riviera.’ It was up to Don how he pronounced his name. But I knew I would pronounce it differently. I was about to become Mr Nice.


BOOK: Mr Nice: an autobiography
2.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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