So here it is guys the conclusion to Johnny’s “The Office” story. I‘ve been anticipating this big time, as I’m sure you have. Once again it’s a blinding good read…..Enjoy !”
If you Happened to miss “The Office” part One, click on the link.
The Office Part 2”
So there we were my wife and I each Monday morning moving furniture back into the office to make it resemble a home once again. After a few sessions we had it down to a tee by paying someone else to do it for us.
I decided to let Carol go because she would be worn out when looking after the kids after an all night session. Anyway, I was never comfortable having my wife around when doing business at the office. I was always worried that if something went wrong, she could find herself dragged into it, along with me. So she stayed away at her mothers looking after the kids.
Business began to boom, not just for me but also others that frequented my office. We had Mickey McAvoy who had just pulled off the biggest gold robbery the UK had ever experienced. Mickey and his brother’s would pop into the office, not for business but more for pleasure. Remember my place was a membership only establishment where everybody knew each other. There was a lot of trust and respect floating around the office, which gave each member reassurance that their business stayed within the building with the right people.
I had members coming in with info on cash runs, shipments of booze and cigarettes and lots and lots of Tom’ (Jewellery) for sale. Stolen Tom was a good earner if you knew what you were doing with it. We only paid scrap value because everything went in the smelting pot. Stones, emeralds and ruby’s were of little value unless they were big enough for re-cutting. My associate in crime would handle a lot of that business whereby he would collect all the gold and sell once the market price went up. Sometimes we would hang on to gear for months before selling it on minus the VAT, that bit was left to the buyer.
I always remember one bit of work that came my way and in a sense it was a very unusual haul of merchandise. Not the sort of thing that could be moved on very easily. But the good thing about this business was if you had reliable contacts in your little black book than you could find a buyer for almost anything. Also because this particular load was unusual the seller knew he would have to take a reduced amount if he wanted shot of it. Unusual loads were hard to sell unless you had a dead cert buyer, if not you would leave it well alone.
To cut a long story short this rare load had to be transported on a 32-ton truck. Getting the goods was not a problem because it was an inside job. My seller arranged for the goods to disappear while I arranged a slaughter (Hiding place) for the load to be stored. I had another pal to collect the buyer to take him to look at the goods. Blindfolded, the geezer was whisked through the streets of London until he was inside the slaughter. A bit Hollywood style you might say, but you don’t get an Oscar for being banged up in the local hate factory. Caution and safety was a number one on my priority list and for me that list was as good as the bible is for a priest. Once the buyer has examined the goods the bartering commenced. My pal who was acting for me knew what our lowest selling price was. The buyer started with a price just to get the ball rolling.
Once negotiations were complete, delivery was arranged with half the agreed amount to be paid up-front. The remainder would be paid inside the office on delivery day just so I knew my goods were protected. After all goods sometimes get lost or taken away from you once on route via loose tongues etc from the buyer’s side of course. I made sure all buyers I done business with were within arms length of me until that phone of mine rang to tell me the eagle had landed.
On this occasion all went well; the phone call came to say the eagle had landed and the buyer coughed up the other half…lovely jubbly! £25k earned just for a phone call to a contact from my little black book of potential buyers/sellers from everything to anything, not bad for a few minutes work.
However this wasn’t the same for the buyer; he ended up making a costly mishap by making a stupid mistake. As agreed, our driver delivered the goods to the buyers selected destination of which he had no knowledge of until he set off. We had done our part to cover ourselves for the transportation of the goods. It was the usual to change the tax disc and number plates on the tractor unit. However this load wasn’t the usual 40’ box container. Instead the goods were covered with a huge sign written bright coloured tarpaulin that covered the entire load. This we had to change by replacing it with an old plain one with no identifying logos. Using that one completely changed the appearance of the truck and helped us get to the destination without drawing attention from the law. They would be looking for a stolen truck with its original coloured tarpaulin and probably a set of dodgy plates. We changed what we needed to get the load to its destination safely. After the delivery our driver removed our tax disc and plates from the unit and trailer leaving the buyers’ people to put their own on
Now I’ve heard of stupidity but sometimes once in a blue moon there lurks a complete idiot just waiting to fuck everything up. Well, I’m sorry to say our buyer had acquired a right mug that happened to be the driver who he had selected to transport the load to another destination.
Once our driver made his own way back to the office, he was weighed off, had a quick drink and went home. So on our part we were very, very happy with the way the deal went down, almost like clockwork. That evening I got a call from a good pal of mine who told me that the buyers goods, inclusive of the tractor-unit and trailer and driver were now in the hands of the old bill (Law)
When something like that happens, especially if you don’t have all the details on how the goods were recaptured, tongues soon start wagging. As I said before my office was a tight-lipped place where you could do all your business safely. Every member that used my office for business had respect of the highest calibre. The last thing we needed was Chinese’s whispers flying about because it would not only affect me but also every other member. It was times like this that brought all the members together so we as a group would sort the problem out. The last thing we needed was word to get out that the office had a grass in amongst its members. If something like that happened I might as well shut shop and go back to working the pavement. So we all stuck together until it was sorted, a bit like “All for one, one for all.”
We managed to grab hold of the nasty piece of work that had started the shit stirring. You can use your own imagination about what happened to him. That was designed to nip this gossiping in the bud and send a message out on to the grapevine to others who might be thinking of doing the same.
No one could find out what went wrong until a few days later when the driver of the truck was brought before the court for the first hearing. We sent a girl into the court hearing to find out if any evidence was to be disclosed. This is where the phrase “a complete idiot” comes into play because how the law got their hands on the goods was almost laughable. It turned out that the buyers’ driver did not put a tax disc on the windscreen nor did he put plates on the unit and trailer. The idiot then sets off into the busy London traffic heading to his destination. He’s about two miles down the road and ends up getting a tug from the traffic police for having no plates or tax disc. The buyer was now 25k out of pocket; if that was not bad enough he ended up getting nicked himself. Apparently he had promised the driver he would take care of his family if things went pear-shape, which at that time was common practice. The last thing you needed was someone turning grass especially if the geezer knew a lot about your business. So every foot soldier that worked for you was given the assurance his family would be taken care of if the shit hit the fan. But this buyer was a complete tight bastard who promised all his guys the earth if they toed the line. We found out later that he only paid his men peanuts and to keep them on longer he bullshitted them with false promises. You can only get away with such a ploy for a limited amount of time before anyone with an ounce of common sense would rumble what was happening. Because of the way he treated his foot soldiers he had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get someone to work for him. Remember these jobs were not fulltime; a job like ours would come in and we would pick the best man for the job. Once the job was completed he’d get paid the agreed amount usually with a bonus and then sending them on their way. Giving them that little bit extra worked wonders especially for our public relations with the criminal fraternity. Our guys actually enjoyed working for us and all had the deepest respect for us, all because we looked after them.
It’s a pity that this buyer didn’t take a page out of our book and follow suit because he found himself up to his neck in it. After his driver had spent six weeks in custody the buyer never gave the drivers’ family a bean. Instead he sent a couple of heavies round to his wife with a message that if he opened his mouth than his family would become a target for revenge. So now the driver is worried sick over the threats to his family and obviously feels used by the buyer.
So cut a long story short the driver coughed up the buyer to the old bill, just so he’ll get his family looked after and obviously cop for a lighter sentence. I suppose the buyer was quite rightfully pissed off with the geezer for not putting the new plates on, let alone losing the whole load. But if you are only going to pay peanuts to your guys, then all you will get in return is monkeys. My opinion was that if anyone was to blame, then it has to be the buyer, after all you only get what you pay for.
What he should have done was look after the geezer and his family just so the guy didn’t give anyone up to the old bill. It turned out that the driver was only getting a pittance for transporting the goods.
The main thing was our reputation was still intact and the shit stirrer was now eating through a straw. The driver who got nicked knew nothing about us, so he couldn’t put us in the frame. However the buyer did know a lot about us and even though he was a complete tosser at the way he handled this bit of business we knew he wasn’t a grass. However, when he was arrested we sent him a message via his brother, similar to the one that he sent to the drivers’ family…thankfully he took note and took it on the chin and ended up with a ten stretch.
As I have already stated we at the office dealt with anything and everything that would line our pockets enough to live a comfortable lifestyle.
A nice little earner comes in my direction, but not like the usual route of going through the office. It was my first time dealing in counterfeit bank notes. The notes were both in UK and US currencies and believe me when I say these notes were of the finest quality. At that time the new hi-tech laser printers were just coming out and little firms were using them to copy low denominations. They looked good but that was all that was good about them. They were being printed on to normal A4 paper, then crumpled up and passed over the counter at a busy nightclub or bars. But once the takings were banked alarm bells started to ring all over the country. Shops etc started using counter measures such as ultra-violet light to pick out the non-existent watermarks. Blotting paper pads were also a good way of testing a note to see if it was a snide or not. The shopkeeper would simply swipe the note on the pad and if it was a snide the print on the note would smear. Businesses cottoned on quickly how to suss these notes outs and then shared that info with all their associates.
The notes that come my way were not produced by a laser printer. In fact they were printed off with plates exactly the same way the Bank of England produces our currency. They were printed on the right paper inclusive of the watermark and metal strip. It was impossible to tell the difference between a right one and a snide…
I’m going to give you the rest of this blinding story next week guys. I am sorry to those of you that were expecting to hear about the notes in this week’s blog. But I had to explain in detail how the office operated by giving you guys a prime example of one of those deals, even though it went pear shape. It did show the extraordinary lengths we went to, to keep our security very tight, just so we didn’t get nicked.
Tune in next week guys and I promise you a blinding story of just one of the explosive episodes that have happened throughout my life…boring it’s not, exciting…yes’ sad and emotionally painful…oh yes that’s for sure. Like I’ve always said being a gangster was not all gun ho’ lots of money and living the high life. Far from it because there were a few times when I just wanted to end it all because I had enough. So be prepared for pure honest accounts of my life, the good and the bad ones.