CHOGM Pt. 03byCromagnonman©
The story so far: Three British agents, in response to intelligence reports, are sent to Sydney to keep a watching brief over the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting's regional meeting. They have teamed up with local Journalist Russell French and his new girlfriend, Model Jenny Peters, to try to identify the bad guys. As Russell and Jenny's relationship grows, a fishing expedition places the agents' plans in jeopardy.
"All the bastard's interested in is pushing drugs." Jerry had found himself in something of a dilemma. If he had refused the job offer it would have immediately raised suspicions in the mind of Carbone and, while he had been assured that there would be no problem if he did decide against taking it, he couldn't be sure. If he took the job there was the likelihood that he would be caught up in the industry that he and the others had been involved in smashing.
All five of them were standing by their cars outside the boundary fence of the White Bay Container Terminal. The next stage of their operation hung in the balance and depended very much on the outcome of this discussion.
"So what is the plan?"
"I pick up supplies at some ungodly hour tomorrow morning and ferry them around the place collecting the money and returning it to Carbone."
"What about the police that turned up, where do they fit in to the scheme of things?"
"They are in the pocket of another gang boss. These two seem to be at each other's throats."
"We don't want to get involved in anything that will lead to you being arrested for drug trafficking, how would that look on your record, and can you imagine the chief? 'Now Gerald, you have been accused of the most heinous of all crimes and considering your position within this organisation I am having some difficulty in understanding your actions. What have you to say for yourself?' 'I'm Sorry Sir, it's just that the most generous salary that you have been giving me over the years is simply not enough for me to live on let alone to save for my retirement. So, with my knowledge of the drug industry and my contacts, I decided that pushing drugs would provide me with an income worthy of my talents, which is a damn sight more than I get now.' The Old Man would shit himself."
"What would happen if we were to get someone to contact that tame cop, what was his name again? Kelly, and tip him off that there was going to be a transfer of goods tomorrow morning. If we play our cards right it will look as if he had been following Frankie."
"How can we tip him off without letting on who we are?"
"Leave that to me. We can use our contacts with Interpol and arrange for them to tip off the NSW police. We don't need to come into it at all."
"But how can you turn up at the meeting without getting involved?" Russell asked.
"I think that can be arranged. Leave that to us. Now you two are finished for the day, I'll ring you in time to be there to cover the bust. Why don't you go home and try and get some sleep."
"Why is it that they have a dirty mind as far as we are concerned?" Russell asked Jenny.
"Probably because it is pretty obvious what we intend to do." Jenny replied, smiling.
And do it they did. The bed received an unaccustomed pounding as they thrashed around in the throes of passionate lovemaking for at least an hour and three quarters before exhaustion eventually took its toll and they separated as far as the bed would allow and drifted off to their individual and collective slumbers.
Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday February 9, 1978
INQUIRY EXPECTED ON ASIO FILES CHARGE.
The Premier, Mr Wran, is expected to establish an inquiry into the allegations involving the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Coleman, and ASIO documents.
POLICE SEIZE $10M CROP OF MARIJUANA.
Dawn raid on S.A. plantation.
GOVERNMENT WARNED OF COST OF TIGHTER EXHAUST RULES.
At five thirty Russell's alarm shattered the stillness of his bedroom. Both he and Jenny stirred, and became aware of each other's presence. "Good morning Darling."
"Humph." Russell raised his head fractionally from the pillow and seeing Jenny looking at him was enough for him to snap into life. "Oh I must be in Heaven for where else would I find an angel beside me?"
"It's me you fool, your very earthly girl friend."
"Girl friend? Ah yes, I seem to remember something of the kind. It's been so long that I can't be totally sure, give me a sign so that I know that I'm not dreaming."
"How about this." She leaned over him and kissed him, pressing herself against him, her hand moving slowly down his body until it found his erect and ready penis. "At least he's awake."
"And so am I." Russell rolled on top of her and once more found himself in her and her embrace.
It was a scant regard for speed limits that allowed Russell and Jenny to be in place on the footpath overlooking the roadway where the transfer was to take place in time to see Frankie's car slowly turn into the street and stop at the entrance to the underpass.
At six thirty another car which they didn't recognise cruised slowly past. As soon as it got to the other end of the underpass it turned and parked across the roadway. This was the signal for another three cars to quickly block off both entrances to the road and Frankie's escape.
Men came from everywhere, armed men. Frankie was soon standing beside his car watching while it was being systematically torn apart and searched.
As the men began to warm to their task a beige Commodore drove up and stopped on the corner, the driver quickly assessing the situation and driving as unobtrusively as possible away from the scene.
Kelly supervised the search that in no time had revealed several bags containing a white substance. "A nice little haul Frankie. Who were you waiting for?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Silly boy." The nod was hardly noticeable but it was enough for one of the men to step in front of him and punch him savagely in the stomach. Frankie doubled up in pain gasping desperately for breath. "Now are you going to be sensible or do I have to leave you to the gentle ministrations of our friend here?"
"I know nothing I tell you. All I know is that I had to wait here for someone to turn up. I don't know who. I don't know why. I don't know what was to happen next. I didn't know that stuff was in the car, honest. It was in the garage all day yesterday and I only got it back late last night. I want to talk to my lawyer."
"Take him away. I don't have time to waste with messenger boys. I have bigger fish to fry."
Frankie was bundled into a waiting police car and driven off.
When he was sure that only the right people were watching Jerry drove up to Kelly. "Good work Inspector. I guess we nailed them for you."
"Sure, sure. We've been watching these guys for some time now and it was only a matter of time before we had enough on them to make an arrest. How come you got on to them so quickly?"
"I've been following the trail from the bottom up and this is just a side shoot from the main pipeline. What we are trying to get is the next section and I feel that we have a good chance here."
"How do you mean? Frankie's not about to talk."
"We're going to starve them out."
"What do you mean?
"We'll keep hammering them every time a new shipment comes in until they get desperate and contact their suppliers for emergency supplies, when that happens we hit them."
"How do you know when a shipment is coming in?"
"I am one of the few people who do know and the fewer people that know that the better, less chance of a leak that way. By the way I would appreciate it very much if you don't make any mention of my or Interpol's involvement in this operation, we don't want to frighten them away. You can take full credit for this bust."
"Thank you, that's fine by me. Are you sure that you don't want me to bust the leader of this gang just yet?"
"Wake up! What have I just finished telling you?"
"But it would help me no end if I was to arrest him."
"And have him out of gaol in two minutes because he pleads that he knew nothing of this operation, nothing of what Frankie did in his spare time and has a water tight alibi for this morning like he was at the six o'clock mass at St Marys or something."
Jerry drove back to Mosman where he met with the others. "I bet you that less than half of that heroin is declared as part of the bust. He will feed the rest of it onto the streets and share some of the profits with his boss as a trade off for not busting Lou."
He walked over to the phone and dialled the silent number that Lou had given him the night before. "Hey Lou what happened this morning? I got to the meeting place on time only to find the place crawling with cops and prominent among them was your old friend Inspector Kelly."
"Sure, I'm sorry. It seems that Frankie wasn't as smart as he thought he was and allowed them to trail him. Pity about him."
"Well I don't want to get involved in any of this sort of thing. The last thing that I want is to end up being sent back to England."
"I can understand that."
"I think I'll lie low until this cools down. I won't be any good to myself or you for that matter if I end up in the slammer. I'll give you a call when I think that it's safe to come out and maybe then we can talk business."
Jerry replaced the receiver, "I think that takes care of that loose end for the time being. I have the police convinced that we are Interpol, Lou and his gang convinced that I'm clean as far as he's concerned. That should take the pressure of me for a while."
"Good. Well I guess that just about rules out the organised crime side of things as far as this is concerned. I'll go back to the University. Jerry can you see if you can get in with the Ananda Marga, pose as a convert or something, see if they are up to anything. Frank, how's the Trade Union line going?"
"Pretty cold. I don't think that they are up to anything more than some minor mischief. Hooley and Flynn arrived a couple of days ago and are already something of an embarrassment to them. It seems that they got pissed out of their brains the other night, had a barney and totally wrecked the house that they were staying in."
Russell and Jenny came into the room. "That was a good bust this morning but I've had to modify my story a little because the official release mentioned only one Kilo of heroin, now I know that there was much more than that in the car when Frankie was stopped. I don't suppose that I would be right in assuming that the rest of the haul will be hitting the streets as we speak, would I?"
"You could be right but it is of little consequence right now, we have..." Burroughs never got to finish his statement.
"Bloody Hell!" The anger welled up in Jenny's voice. "What kind of person are you? Do you mean to sit there and tell us that you are not interested in following through on this morning's efforts. Don't you think that drugs are a big enough problem without you turning your backs on it hoping that it will go away, or that someone else will take it up?"
"Not at all. All we're doing is to put it on the back burner for the time being. What information we get will be turned over to the proper authorities at the appropriate moment. What I was trying to say, somewhat unsuccessfully, is that we have a higher priority for the moment."
"I don't suppose that I can argue with that."
"No. Would it help if I was to tell you that we have been doing everything that we can to stop drug trafficking since one of London's finest and most compassionate Drug Squad detectives and his partner were both killed by the very same people that we think are behind our reasons for being here?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't understand."
"That's okay. Russell what are your plans for today?"
"Well, I've been assigned to this investigation full time, so what do you want me to do?"
"Can you check with your paper's records and see what you can find about anything that might help us."
"Pretty broad search."
"Sure, but it would help us greatly."
"What about me?" Jenny asked.
"You can help Russell and try not to take his mind off his job."
"These guys are clever. I thought that we had them cold with that drug bust but it seems that he used his Interpol contacts to establish himself with the local cops and worm his way out of the tight spot."
"Why can't I just kill them?"
"If it isn't your dick getting you into trouble it's this obsession with getting revenge on these three. The last thing we want now is for you to go in there with guns blazing and shoot the living shit out of someone who has been identified as an Interpol Officer. Now I want you to get on the phone to that broad in the agency and see if she has any news for us."
The second man picked up the phone and dialled a number, "Hi Baby, BillyBob here, yeah we'll have to do it again. Now what have you got for me? What do you mean you don't know where she is? She's gone somewhere and not given you a forwarding address. Have you tried her home? No, have you actually been around there already? Honey, sorry I got angry at you, you're doing the best you can. Catch you later, ciao." He hung up the phone, "Bitch!!
"Trouble?" His companion worked studiously on his already perfectly manicured nails. Justin Masterson was careful about his appearance. His hair was always neatly trimmed and never out of place even in the strongest wind. His clothes always scrupulously cleaned and immaculately pressed.
His manner could be, and was described as effeminate, a description that was as cultivated as the fact. Beneath that facade dwelt on of the most cruelly cold-blooded killers in the employ of the CIA. He would think no more of shooting through an innocent bystander to complete a hit than brush a speck of dust from his clothes.
"Stupid bitch, she has had someone keeping tabs on our friends and it seems that she has gone off with some stud for a dirty week of sex and things and can't be contacted."
"It doesn't matter, it's not that important. I want you to slip over to the Warehouse and pick up that package in the safe and bring it back here, when you get it back I want you to check all the circuits, detonators and timing mechanism to make sure that it is working. We don't want to have anything go wrong at this point."
Russell and Jenny found themselves in the dim nether regions of the newspaper's records library going through microfiche record after microfiche record looking for who knows what. Even the most tenuous reference to either the CHOGM Conference, the CIA or the Ananda Marga had to be followed. It wasn't as if there was some starting point that they could use, it was a blanket search and it wasn't very fruitful. There were a lot of references to each of the areas that they were searching but nothing substantial.
The letters seemed to flash past in a never ending blur of green with very little of it of any interest. For two hours they had been at it all they had to show for their efforts were half a dozen small items.
Russell left the room and returned a few minutes later with two plastic cups of instant travesty that was loosely known around the building as coffee. He had only just set the cups down when Jenny called out excitedly, "Darling come here, look at this. This could change the whole course of the investigation."
What she was pointing to was a news release out of India which claimed that the CIA had infiltrated the Ananda Marga religious sect, and that the purpose of this was to undermine the Desai Government.
The item went on to allege that the reason for this action was to stir up anti-government feelings to the point where the government would be forced to resign and go to the polls, at which time the Indian people, with the urging of the CIA backed dissidents, would re-elect the Ghandis to government, a move supported wholeheartedly by the CIA.
If a reason for this action could be isolated it would be found in the rumours that were circulating widely that the Indian Government had plans to nationalise all foreign industry, thus taking from the exploitive multi-nationals, particularly US based industries, the cheap labour advantages that they enjoyed.
One reason identified by the Indian Government for taking this step was the growing resentment among the workers to the lax safety standards in many of the factories, many of which didn't meet the minimum requirements of the International Labour Organisation.
It looked to Russell and Jenny that the CIA/Ananda Marga link would prove to be the most likely and they were tempted to finish up and report back to the others, but reason prevailed, and they decided to push further with the research.
It wasn't long before Russell's attention was taken by a bureau report of a statement made by an American Scientist who claimed that the American Government was manipulating the finances of Third World countries by their controlling of Commodity Prices. Just as they had done in the 60's with sugar shipments from Cuba, refusing to allow the ships to dock and unload cargoes, subsidising production to depress the prices, measures which they rationalised by stating that they were denying Castro the ability to buy weapons that could be used against the US.
What rationale they used to manipulate oil stocks and prices from supposedly friendly countries such as Mexico was not stated, but the report accused the American Oil companies of blatant exploitation. It also pointed to the possibility of a producing country backlash in the form of Middle Eastern countries forming a Cartel to boost the price of oil at the well head.
The report accused the oil companies of falsifying drill reports and understating the Third World Country's oil reserves and selling to them oil from their own reserves at inflated prices.
The report concluded that the US government was, through the companies and its condoning of such practises, denying those countries the money that they so desperately needed to buy foods and medicines.
The report stopped short of accusing the US Government of actual interference in the government of these countries but it did state that in some cases the US was selling arms, through dealers, to those countries who were known to be hostile to US interests.
Russell skimmed through the cables for the next week until he found what appeared to be two unrelated incidents. The first a report quoting an un-named but influential 'informed source' which stated that the Prime Minister of a small African country was accused of accepting money from US based companies in return for the granting of certain concessions. The money was supposed to have been placed in the Country's General Revenue but, the report alleged, it was in fact deposited directly into a numbered Swiss bank account.
The report stated that the Prime Minister, although strongly denying the allegations, was still under considerable pressure to resign.
The second report was of the tragic death in a motor vehicle accident of a prominent scientist, which the report named and which, by coincidence, was the same person who had spoken out against the US Government some days before.
While the report of the 'accident' stated that it was a single vehicle accident involving the vehicle crashing, at high speed, through a guard rail and plunging down a steep cliff onto the beach at Malibu. It was also stated that tests of the driver's blood showed a high concentration of alcohol in his blood stream indicating that he was very drunk at the time. An eye witness stated that there could have been another vehicle involved due to the skid marks on the road. Friends of the scientist stated that he was staunchly teetotal and were at a loss to explain the presence of alcohol. Certainly not to the extent that was alleged in the initial Police report of the accident.