Smuggling Past and Present

Modern day smuggling forms the background for the thriller, Eavesdrop, and is therefore an area that interests and intrigues its author, Ian Coates.

This page looks at smuggling through the ages.

Drug smugglers using custom-built submarines in Columbia

Smugglers' abandoned submarine

The picture shows a submarine abandoned in a Colombian mangrove swamp. It had apparently been used for smuggling and would have cost the smugglers around a quarter of a billion dollars. 100 feet long, it's capable of carrying 6 smugglers and 8 tons of cocaine. It carries GPS navigation (that's the aerial on the conning tower), cameras, toilets, and airconditioning.


Smuggling tunnels from Mexico into Arizona

Smugglers' tunnels found in Arizona

Smugglers from Mexico are digging tunnels that break into the Arizona drainage system to provide a secret route into America. The Border Agency now uses robots to search the maze of tunnels to hunt the smugglers


Unusual things that have been smuggled

Airport where contraband is seized

What's the most unusal thing ever smuggled? A jar of human eyeballs, maybe? In this blog entry, thriller writer Ian Coates explores the more unexpected items that Customs have impounded.

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History of smuggling in southern England

Rye Harbour was a centre for smuggling

Do you know what a "bee-skep" was? Do you know why smuggling started in the UK? Read how taxes on sheep fleeces led to a whole smuggling industry. Learn how the Hawkhurst gang killed 170 people, and why the Romney Marsh became a centre for English smugglers.

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