Crimelord: The Licensee
The True Story of Tam McGraw
by David Leslie
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Crimelord is the gripping life story of elusive multimillionaire gangster Tam McGraw. A notorious criminal kingpin, McGraw has risen from extreme poverty in the East End of Glasgow to become one of Scotland's wealthiest men.
When hash started to flood into Scotland from the late 1980s onwards, suspicion centred on McGraw, leader of the infamous Barlanark Team. After a two-year surveillance operation, police discovered the drug had been hidden in buses carrying young footballers and deprived Glasgow families on free holidays abroad. It was a scam reminiscent of the movie The Italian Job, only this time Scots kids had been sitting on hash worth over £40 million. Police claimed McGraw was the financier and mastermind but in 1998 a jury declared him innocent while other suspects were jailed.
As McGraw refuses to discuss his life publicly, his remarkable tale is told through friends, fellow crooks and the occasional rival. It is an outrageous, often hilarious, true gangster story.
- Mainstream Publishing, April 2011
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