40 Years Catching Smugglers

Malcolm Nelson worked for 40 years for HM Customs and Excise. He worked on every aspect of catching smugglers. He was mainly based at Heathrow but he also spent time at London Port, Dover, St Petersburg (Russia), Malta, and at most major airports throughout the EU.

He is credited with the largest quantity of drugs by weight ever found in a single suitcase. Forty two kilos of compressed herbal cannabis concealed inside plantains that had been scooped out and sewn back together again. Then left to rot.

As a senior manager he led the first Customs and Excise Division to attain the Cabinet Office Charter Mark accreditation for service delivery. Very difficult in a law enforcement working environment.

Since retirement in 2005 he has developed his speaking activity and now delivers in excess of 80 talks a year to clubs and societies throughout the south of England, and speaks on 4 or 5 cruises each year. He is a both a criminologist (member of the BSC) and a historian.

His main programme of talks is entitled “40 years of catching smugglers”. In this series of talks he uses his experience to give his audience an insight into just how Customs Officers catch smugglers. However he also gives talks on the history of smuggling, historical events in Australia, South America, and the USA. His talks are invariably informative and his unique style of delivery make them both entertaining and, where appropriate, extremely amusing.

He is an accomplished speaker having been trained in Advanced Presentational Skills. He is a member of the British Society of Criminologists and he is accredited by the Australian Tourist Board as an “Aussie Specialist”.

His first book “Forty Years Catching Smugglers” was published in 2011 and his second “The Pursuit of the Two Legged Drug Mule” was published in March 2017.

He was educated at William Morris Technical High School where he attained 8 “O” Level GCE’s and 3 “A” Level passes.

He was employed by Westminster Bank and then he joined HM Customs and Excise where he remained for 40 years. Rising from the lowest rank (Assistant Preventive Officer ) to one below the most senior ( Assistant Collector) rank.

He is married with 3 children, 1 granddaughter, and a great grandson. He supports Spurs and Essex County Cricket and drinks rum.