Ionian gangster boy, p.5
Ionian Gangster Boy, p.5Mikey Simpson
Chapter 5 - Accountability
Morgan woke the next day with a pounding head, he reached over to the side table near his bed and took two painkillers, before hobbling out of bed to the bathroom. Mornings were always the worst he thought as he rubbed the aching muscles of his thigh. He sat on the toilet and then brushed his teeth before returning to his bedroom to get dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. The sandals would have to wait a while, he couldn’t stretch that far to put them on.
An hour later he had forced down a piece of toast, and had in his hand a satisfying cup of strong coffee. He made his way back to the living area of the villa and opened the French windows. It was early, but the sound of children playing by the pool could be heard over Greek music playing from the pool bar. Morgan walked outside and sat in the warm sun until he had finished his coffee. His time at the villa, and injury, was beginning to hit home the truth of his situation. If circumstances had been different in Sidari and the mafia had turned on him when they had the chance, he would have been dead. If he had been shot nearer the artery in his leg, he would have bled to death on the road back to Gouvia. He thanked his luck stars for being alive, but he knew his options were becoming limited. He was stressed and vulnerable and needed to get to grips with his situation. He had so far managed to avoid any contact with the Greek or UK authorities. However he knew if he was caught, he wouldn’t be able to protect any of the ventures in the business portfolio. He wouldn’t be able to stop assets being seized, and accounts being frozen, when a full criminal investigation took place. He knew therefore, that he had a lot of reading and examination of accounts and records ahead of him. With time against him, he would have to cram into every waking hour all account detail, to trace every pound that had been moved or invested. Once he had all this information he hoped he would be able to identify partners his father associated with and then begin to manipulate them in his favour. Eventually he hoped to understand the full scale of the companies markets and manage businesses accordingly.
Morgan took out marker pens from the field bag and began to flick through the last three years of business accounts. The portfolio was split into assets that consisted of Ocean vessels, Real Estate, and Alcohol/Brewery/Vineyard production. He knew for a fact that his dad distributed Alcohol: so the Distillery in Jamaica (Kingston Rum), Breweries in Poland (Weis Lager), Prague (Budviest Lager) and the newly acquired vineyard in Sofia - Bulgaria (St Catherine Wines) were easily identified within the Accounts. But what surprised him was the brands turnover, which was relatively low - like it only operated in a local market. He delved deeper to the end of year accounts and was shocked to find that the profit and loss final figures were dramatically inflated in relation to the sales of the two previous years. The sales had quadrupled, so that must mean that materials and labour costs would have increased at a steady rate with other overheads. This wasn’t the case the business was operating with artificially inflated sales to markets that did not exist. Here, export was the preferred method of increasing the demand, yet in England he had never seen any of the above mentioned on supermarket shelves. It had to be all a front. So he checked every company and every brand to investigate further, it could only be explained by one thing alone. The businesses were fronts to launder money from smuggling Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs and whatever else Max had got his fingers into. But how had he made it work? How had he managed to get away with it to the sum of multi million pound dividend payouts at the end of the year to shareholders? He was beginning to get worried as he traced money from the companies to recognised corporations and even establishment figures. There was even an offshore account in the Bahamas for a charity named Burdett Foundation, which was cash rich with 20 million pounds in it, courtesy of you know who.
Morgan delved into other accounts that revealed, a publishing and printing business in Poland (Black Bear). It generated a massive profit each year of 40 million pounds. That would have to mean bestselling authors, but when Morgan checked for royalties - there were none paid to a single person. All copyright was reserved Black Bear - How convenient he thought, as he wrote information in multi-coloured pen upon the villas white washed living room wall.
The wall became more illustrated on the second day as Morgan introduced a rough sketch of a world map. It incorporated from left to right the Americas (North/central/South), Europe and below it Africa, with the remainder being roughly drawn to represent India/Asia/China and then all on its own Australia. Morgan added layer upon layer of information as the accounts were examined one by one. Eventually he examined the Real Estate and Yachting information from the Caribbean, Spain, Greece, North Africa and India. There were other bank accounts in Switzerland and Bermuda and machinery parts in Panama and a little known area of Brazilian rain forest that had been bought for five million pounds. In total, the banks had a split of cash: Bahamas 40 million, Bermuda 5 million, Switzerland 12 million, he was overwhelmed by figures.
The worldwide Real Estate and ocean vessels assets including Brazil came to a cool total of 20 million give or take a million.
As the information built up on the wall, contact names and Dividend windfalls sat alongside arrows that flowed between the yachting companies (payoffs - for smuggling) and payments to wholesalers on continental France/Spain. He understood how cash from sales were routed via Max’s Breweries before returning again to the UK via dividends. Other international merchandise came from Brazil, while receipts were picked out linking them to shipping (Panama or the Caribbean/ to European destinations) the cash finding its way through Kingston Rum to dividends paid into the UK or the charity fund in the Bahamas.
By the end of the week, there was a comprehensive web of information that implicated some extremely high profile people in Business and Government, worldwide. He also made note of prominent people of noble background. But better still he had the latest information of a newly developed business venture in India. It showed vast amounts of merchandise being distributed from the sub continent to Europe via the network of yachts in the Mediterranean. Without doubt, it was drugs. The profit from it was laundered through Max’s real estate lettings in Greece and Spain. He had double-checked his findings and was now sure that the dividends past only to one benefactor alone, based in Milan and called Inzagi. Last year alone, the operation had brought a profit of twelve million. This year the operation had been doubled, and the money now sitting in the various accounts represented 18 million pounds.
Morgan held his head in his hands and realised for the first time that he had the information of the venture that had brought the downfall of Inzagi and his father. But why? was it greed? He wondered if the assassins knew how well connected his father was? He wondered if they had any idea that it would create a gang war throughout Europe? Perhaps they had planned this all along, why otherwise would they kill powerful men and target businesses that provided a steady stream of wealth many would not be able to comprehend. To Morgan now sifting through the evidence, he now realised how much these shady figures would like to get to him, to take over the businesses he had written on the wall.
He had begun to realise that ultimately he had lots of enemies, depending on how he wanted to proceed with managing the business. If he changed the basis of how the companies did business then he too would be dead within weeks, the masses making money from the portfolio would not stand to lose an affluent income and comfortable lifestyle among societies elite.
Morgan was exhausted he had been hobbling around all week, the examination of documents had been slow. His mind was blown with all the figures and trails of money he’d tracked around the world, and then back to the UK.
He took a short shower to refresh himself and cleaned his wound. Morgan taped on a new dressing, struggled to pull on his shorts and had a shave. He looked in the mirror and realised the skin around his eyes was dark, his body weight had dropped due to the trauma of the wound and the heavy workload. He looked himself in the eye and asked himself was this the kind of life he wanted, was this how he w
Morgan rubbed down his wet hair with a towel and hobbled back to the masterpiece on the wall, picked up his mobile phone and took a picture of it for his records. He scrolled down the phones list of contacts and added names and numbers where appropriate, then sat back on the sofa to relax and close his eyes. His mind wondered and jumped around everything he had learnt that week. Suddenly his conscience got the better of him. His mouth watered as the pit of his stomach churned. He began to gag as he struggled to make it to the toilet to be sick. He was sure hidden somewhere amongst all the information, and money were ruined lives of people who had been used as property. If he looked hard enough, there would be people trafficking, slavery, and prostitution. Not to mention arms deals that would provide the tools for ethic cleansing, slaughter, civil war and famine. He wiped sick from his mouth and stood up from the toilet, and looked down at his wound. It was bleeding, blood trickling down his leg and onto the floor, like the blood of hundreds who had died to build up Max’s empire. Their lives were all the dirty money that now sat in vaults, not benefiting anyone apart from people who fed off vulnerable people and vice. These people could not see further than a pound sign or a dollar, do nothing else but cause more heartache, yet more corruption and death. Somehow he knew he needed to make a stand, somehow he needed to make a difference, that was the only way he could live with his legacy, live with himself and build a future that could make a difference and keep him alive.
There and then he knew he had to develop a plan. The only way he could keep ahead of the underworld and the authorities, would be to ensure there was a transition from illegal activities to proper trading companies. It would anger a lot of people who had made millions through Max, but if he wanted to walk away from his father’s past and be able to have a life of his own, he would have to take down anything that couldn’t work legitimately. The crucial problem was figuring out how to play the mafia who were after him, that should be easy. The hard part would be paying off his father’s old business partners, and with the rest of the capital invest legitimately in worthwhile ventures. He resigned himself, the latter would take longer to achieve.
‘Keep everyone happy without getting killed,’ he said to himself, as he redressed his wound. Moments later he walked outside into the sun, drew up a sun lounger and fell asleep, with a smile spread across his face.
Ionian Gangster Boy by Mikey Simpson / Thrillers & Crime have rating 3 out of 5 / Based on15 votes