Strike of the Cobra – UK, Turkey, Singapore – Stephen Heubach

COBRA

A true-life story of crime, subterfuge and drug smuggling in Britain, Turkey and Singapore.

Story in a nutshell

Based on a true story. Boat trader Daniel Cassidy is approached by a Turkish businessman who offers him a lucrative international deal but he soon has suspicions about just how lucrative this deal really is. is he getting exactly what he thinks he is?

Never mind the boats – what else is involved with the deal? What is the hidden cargo on board for example?

When the deal goes sour, Daniel is trapped between those who threaten him and his family if he says anything, and the authorities who are hot on his trail. It’s just a question of who gets there first – if Daniel doesn’t think of something first.

Place and setting

The Trail that takes an innocent business man around the world - From Earls Court Boat show in London, factory visits in Istanbul in Turkey and lunch time deals in  Singapore
The Trail that takes an innocent business man around the world – From Earls Court Boat show in London, factory visits in Istanbul in Turkey and lunch time deals in Singapore

Starting with a author note saying that he hopes this story shows people just how easy it is for innocent people to get involved in the shady world of drugs etc, then you can only imagine the horrors that await inside.

Britain

We see just how easy and quickly Daniel gets himself involved . but even as the book opens, we are on a plane to Singapore in order to make a deal with the hope of helping the company Daniel co-owns which has run into financial problems. Walking straight into a trap so carefully planned –

How did the accused initially make contact with you?

“At the boat show in Earls Court, London via information from a colleague of his in Singapore.”

Turkey

Where the deal is struck on a  batch of new boats and where he travels to inspect the factories:

It has the beginning of another fabulous day over Istanbul with temperatures hovering about freezing,  a beautiful deep blue sky.

The followed the coast road round the edge of  large harbour…

But in a sentence that shows the full extent of the horror that is unfolding –

“Istanbul is very sociable and I can assure you that while you are here you will not sleep”

All in all a trail that leads Daniel half way across the world and to a dark place that he might never escape from.

Holland Village where Daniel lives when there. Orchard Road where the offices of the boat company were and the Shangri La club where deals are made
Holland Village where Daniel lives when there. Orchard Road (Shaw House) where the offices of the boat company were and the Shangri La club where deals are made

Singapore

The main location of the story with the offices of United European marine located here and the home of Daniel and family in Medway Park. The landscape here is one of deals, late night chats in hotels and discussions over dinner. The food they enjoy add to the Asian ambience and allude to the way business is done here  – none more so that the drunken prawns which are prawns marinated in white wine whilst still alive.

It is the mystic here that despite Daniel living here and having a lot of experience here that there are still parts of the culture which are closed off to those not in the know . Strange dealings start at the Raffles hotel where a dinner has been arranged but then the guests leave early –

I thought you were joining us? Daniel said with some surprise

Only for the drink we thought? And we do not want to gatecrash the meal with your friends. With that , he spoke to Doris, who picked up her handbag and  stood up downing the rest of her champagne in one.

A journey that one man takes but which show the pitfalls of international business deals and a gradual descent in to absolute horror –

“Ladies and gentlemen, Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise are waiting outside the aircraft doors, would you please all ensure that you have your passport readily available for inspection as you exit the aircraft. Thank you.”

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