The Great Train Robber and the Colombian Drug Baron: How Charlie Wilson’s Secret Pact with Notorious Cartel Boss Pablo Escobar Helped Britain Get Addicted to Cocaine
- A new book explores the lesser-known second half of Charlie Wilson’s career
- Known as one of the great train robbers, Wilson was associated with Pablo Escobar
- Book claims that Wilson started distributing cocaine in Europe and the UK for cartels
A new book explores the extraordinary story of how the infamous Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson made a secret deal with drug lord Pablo Escobar to bring cocaine to the UK.
Secret Narco: The Great Train Robber, whose collaboration with Pablo Escobar cocaineed Britain by Wensley Clarkson, explores the lesser-known chapter of Charlie Wilson’s criminal career prior to his 1990 murder.
In chapters published in the Mirror, the book reveals how Wilson met a Colombian drug dealer in Parkhurst Prison in 1972, while serving a 10-year sentence for the 1963 Great Train robbery.
A new book has revealed how infamous Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson later became Pablo Escobar’s distributor for the UK and Europe before being murdered in 1990
The Great Train Robbery from 1963
The Great Train Robbery saw £ 2.6 million stolen from a Royal Mail train running between Glasgow and London on the West Coast Mainline.
It took place in the early hours of August 8 when the train was near Buckinghamshire and the distance would today be the equivalent of £ 55 million.
A gang of fifteen men – of whom Charlie Wilson was the treasurer – messed with signals to stop the train before they got on and left with the money.
No one was killed, but driver Jack Mills was so badly hit that he never worked again.
After the robbery, the gang hid at Leatherslade Farm.
Wilson was the treasurer of the gang who gave each of the robbers their share of the harvest: £ 150,000 each.
He was quickly captured and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 1964, but only served four months in his sentence.
Wilson fled to Canada with his wife and evaded four years of imprisonment before being apprehended and imprisoned in 1968
The train was involved in the robbery in 1963
While Wilson, born in Battersea, initially looked down on the Colombian – for not considering drug trafficking a “ real ” criminal enterprise – the South American proved quite convincing about the economic benefits of smuggling and selling cocaine.
When Wilson was released in 1978, he moved with his wife Pat to the Costa del Sol, Spain, and became a major financial aid to a hash trade.
Due to the size of his activity, he was already on the radar of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and with increasing pressure in the US, Escobar looked to Europe for opportunities to expand his international drug business.
Clarkson writes how American law enforcement officers in late 1984 agreed Wilson’s description with a man who flew from Europe to Bogota and then traveled to Pablo Escobar’s estate, the Hacienda Nápoles.
The estate included an exotic zoo, a private airport, and even a go-kart track.
But according to Clarkson, the pair’s first meeting didn’t go well, and Wilson ended the storm.
Despite this, the pair managed to reach a two-year deal, which meant that Wilson would buy and distribute cocaine on a large scale in the UK.
He would also handle large shipments destined for other parts of Western Europe.
Wilson soon began living the fast-paced life, spending his massive fortune and reportedly becoming addicted to drugs.
Wilson employees claim that he did not take Pablo Escobar seriously and that he was not concerned about the possible consequences of a crossing.
Then, on April 23, 1990, Wilson was shot in the backyard of his Spanish home while his wife Pat was at home.
A man knocked on the front door of Wilson’s house, and when Pat Wilson opened the door, he asked with a London accent to talk to Wilson because he had a message, pulled down a baseball cap that obscured his eyes.
Pat let him leave the bike at the front door and let him out the backyard to talk to Wilson, who was preparing dinner to celebrate his and Pat’s wedding anniversary.
Wensley Clarkson’s book claims that Pablo Escobar’s first meeting with Charlie Wilson was hostile and that Wilson eventually stormed Escobar’s house before reaching a two-year deal
After five minutes of talking, the visitor kicked Wilson in the groin, broke his nose, and shot him twice, once in the neck and once in the head.
He died at the age of 58.
While no one has ever been convicted of his murder, it is a firm belief that he was murdered on the orders of rival London mobster Roy Adkins.
Clarkson’s book further states that the news of Narco Charlie’s murder was received “shrugging” by Pablo Escobar and claims that Escobar had given permission to continue the hit despite not being directly involved.
Drug dealer Pablo Escobar at one point had a fortune of £ 19 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world.
He died, aged 44, after a shooting with the Colombian police in 1993.