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Glasgow Gangsters

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Glasgow seems to have more than its fair share of gangsters, and each and every one of them masquerade as respectable businessmen.

As bits of information trickle out about each and every one of them, the extent of their criminal empire becomes apparent, because it is obvious that the police and politicians have had to have been involved, as well as respectable professionals, like lawyers.

Even the Presshas stepped back a bit. While they report some goings on, they are distancing themselves from out and out attacking, no doubt for fear of getting sued by those bent lawyers who are protecting the guilty.

Glasgow gangsters have built their empires on the backs of the poor downtrodden masses who have been suckered into a life of drug addiction, and who will go on to commit many petty crimes in their desperation to find the money for yet more drugs, with many young women turning to prostitution, and young men turning to burglaries.

money laundering

money laundering

Heavy drugs on Glasgow's streets

Tons of heroin and cocaine are freely available throughout Glasgow, yet the authorities seem powerless to stop it.

The big guys, the gangsters who are now multi-millionaires are easy to spot. They are ones building million pound houses and driving around in top of the range cars.

They have in the main turned to legitimate cash businesses to launder their dirty money, and this is why tanning salons, nightclubs, pubs, hotels, private hire companies and the latest, nurseries for pre-school children have become outlets for their filthy lucre.

Quite often, they put these assets into their wives names, or close family, so that they themselves can distance themselves from the income tax office.

This makes them almost untouchable. No IRS searches for proof of earnings if their names are not on the list of directors.

Arthur Thompson Snr - The Godfather

Arthur Thompson Snr - The Godfather

Books written about Glasgow's Godfather

The Godfather

Now deceased, Arthur Thompson and his family ruled Glasgow with an iron fist. Arthur Thompson was a stop at nothing violent thug, who started his life of crime while barely a teenager, slashing victims with open razors.

He moved from there to robbing stores during the war years when times were hard for everybody. Obviously a man with no conscience whatsoever, so long as he got what he wanted, to Hell with everyone else.

By his 20s he had moved in to the extortion racket and was known for actually nailing people to any wooden surface - doors or floors, when they didn't pay their 'debt'.

So ruthless was he that he earned a grudging respect in the criminal underworld, and nobody dared to cross him.

He even at one point confronted the infamous Kray Twins on their home territory in London.

It was Arthur Thompson or his family who introduced heroin to Glasgow's populace. By giving out some free samples, they very quickly drew in almost a whole generation who soon found themselves addicted, and who then had to pay through the nose for more supplies.

These people were largely the young and uneducated, and he launched them on a life of crime and prostitution in order to obtain money to pay for their next fix. Many people have died from heroin overdosage in the years since then.

Paul Ferris

Paul Ferris

Paul Ferris

A right-hand man of Arthur Thompson, Paul Ferris had to flee south when he was implicated in the shootings of Robert Glover and Joe Hanlon, found dead in a car in Glasgow’s east end on the morning of the funeral of Arthur Thomson junior, who was shot dead outside his family home in Provanmill in Glasgow.

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After the longest and most expensive trial in Scotland's history, Paul Ferris was found 'not guilty' of taking part in the murder of Arthur 'Fatboy' Thompson, but he was later jailed for 10 years for "conspiracy to sell or transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to deal in firearms and possessing explosives" after police requested the assistance of MI5 to finally nail him.

Paul Ferris is now out of jail and a very wealthy man, which makes a mockery of the Proceeds of Crime Act. Who says crime doesn't pay?

Books co-written by Paul Ferris about his life of crime

The Licensee Tam McGraw

The Licensee Tam McGraw

The Licensee – Tam McGraw.

No-one outside of the underworld had heard the name Tam McGraw until he moved in the private hire trade, buying up or burning out smaller companies and incorporating them into his growing empire.
Everyone knew Mac’s cars were involved in the drugs trade, although they had many innocent drivers.
One of their cars when stopped by police was discovered to have a considerable sum of money in cash inside, as well as a handgun, yet no charges were ever brought.

The police intelligence followed Tam McGraw, until eventually they had enough evidence to charge him for being the brains behind a huge drugs consignment that arrived in Scotland from Spain.

He spent 8 months in jail on remand, but at the court case was let off with a ‘not proven’ verdict.

In Scotland, there are three possible court outcomes - ‘guilty’, ‘not guilty’ and ‘not proven’. Not proven simply means the case against someone has not been proven beyond all reasonable doubt, but neither are they declared innocent, as a not guilty result gives.

Tam McGraw collapsed and died of a heart attacka few years later, aged only 55.

In life, the newspapers always referred to him as an ‘alleged’ gangster, or as an ‘alleged’ drug dealer, because he had not been found guilty in court.

After his death, he was openly described as a gangster, even by his wife who then took over his controlling share in Macs cars which by this time has been renamed Glasgow Private Hire.

Margaret McGraw pictured with new husband, escort agency boss Jim McMinimee

Margaret McGraw pictured with new husband, escort agency boss Jim McMinimee

Margaret McGraw and Glasgow Private Hire

A new Law was brought out in Scotland, requiring all taxi and private hire companies to become licensed with the relevant authorities. Anyone with a criminal background would not be allowed to sit on the board of directors.

Margaret McGraw is still a director of Glasgow Private Hire, despite undercover reporters from the Daily Record newspaper catching her and her new boyfriend (now husband) bang to rights, by selling the reporter a sizeable quantity of cocaine. It seems that police took no action after this.


If she had been prosecuted, she could no longer sit on the board of directors, but no charges were brought and life continues as before, though why the widow of the Licensee felt the need to sell drugs is anyone’s guess, seeing as her late husband reputedly left her a legacy of £10M, none of which is actually in the UK (and is therefore untouchable by the authorities).

Read the story published in the Daily Record for yourself. It beggars belief that she got away with this!

The Licensee owned a string of luxury houses in Spain.


Proceeds of Crime Act UK

The Proceeds of crime Act is one of the better ideas the British government have brought out in recent years. It is designed to not allow criminals to profit from their crime.

So bank robbers, or drug dealers or anyone else who obtains money by criminal means would find themselves losing all their assets when found guilty in court.

It is seldom enforceable because criminals seldom put their assets in their own names as outlined above.

So, if one day their empire came crashing down and they found themselves banged up in prison where they belong, they would not have that luxury home or yacht or holiday apartment to go to when they were eventually released.

If you are a serial criminal, consider relocating to the UK where there is no death penalty, no guns (except for the criminal elements and certain sections of the police), and life imprisonment means about 10 years after which you’ll be allocated a social worker to make sure you have a comfortable home to live in and enough food to eat.

Stevie Malcolm

Stevie Malcolm

Stevie Malcolm

Stevie Malcolm, otherwise known as "The Fat Controller" is another who has risen to the top through owning a string of tanning salons and private hire companies.

Now a multi-millionaire and current owner of Glasgow's Network Private Hire, who recently obtained huge contracts from the Health Service, the Schools and the BBC, jobs that previously went to the proper licensed taxi trade.

Despite police objections, these new contracts went through and it is probably not an accident that one of their drivers is a senior Labour Councillor on Glasgow City Council, Jim Todd.

No doubt nepotism is alive and well.

Stevie Malcolm, however, is allowed to continue in what he does because he has a clean court record.

In the past he was arrested and charged with burning down a police car pound, and one of his companies was once found to operating with 100 stolen cars, but no doubt Stevie Malcolm knows whose pockets to line, as all charges were later dropped, or other people came forward and took the blame.

His assets include a £9M dream home being currently built at exclusive Gleneagles in Scotland.

The private hire simply does not pay that well.


Anonymous on October 23, 2013:

What Glasgow gangsters are still alive and active?

IzzyM (author) from UK on January 07, 2013:

You can buy anything if you have enough money! The private hire must have paid REALLY well...

Oh and to everyone reading here, her address isn't private and one most people know anyway.

mimosaman on January 06, 2013:

does MARGARET MCGRAW (TAM MCGRAWS WIDOW) even control GOOGLE??????????? her house at 36 carrick drive mount vernon glasgow has been obscured in google maps street view!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IzzyM (author) from UK on May 20, 2012:

Cheers, here's hoping they don't come and track me down LOL

Glasgowgangland on May 19, 2012:

Yes well done Izzie

IzzyM (author) from UK on May 03, 2011:

Sembj, you are spot on! It happens all over because there is obvious compromise/co-operation of those who could stop it. Some pockets being lined maybe? I used t trust politicians when I was young and gullible. Not now.

Sembj on May 03, 2011:

There appears to be a lot that is rotten in the City of Glasgow like many other cities. It amazes me that criminals obviously prosper through the obvious cooperation of some in power and it seems to happen just about everywhere.

IzzyM (author) from UK on May 02, 2011:

Thanks Cheryl :) It's my home territory so I knew a lot about it to begin with, but the more I read, the more I had to read as new names got thrown into the ring. I've done a couple of spinoffs, but it would take a lifetime to give each of then a write-up!! (Too many)

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on May 02, 2011:

Amazing information. Thanks for the update on gangster criminal activity. Great hub and Congrats.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 26, 2011:

Aw...thanks Fay :)

Fay Paxton on April 26, 2011:

Congratulations on your win. After reading your excellent hub, I thoroughly's excellent.

rated up/awesome

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 16, 2011:

Guess it'd earn a lot more money than this hub ever will! Good idea :)

pigfish from Southwest Ohio on April 15, 2011:

How about making it fiction? about a movie?

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 15, 2011:

I'd get sued if I wrote a book about those rogues lol, but you are right, it is the same the world over. Same characters, different names.

pigfish from Southwest Ohio on April 15, 2011:

Excellent Hub Izzy! Sounds like the beginning of a good book?!? A newspaper editor friend moved from our little city in Ohio to a bigger city near Washington DC and told me...."It's all the same [crime]. Just change the names and locations."

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 11, 2011:

You're welcome lads! These people have no conscience and sadly there are plenty like them the world over.

Huxlion from New York on April 11, 2011:

Thanks for shining the light on this life of crime.

The story needed to be told.

Roger Rabbit on April 10, 2011:

No comment I never read this! lol!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 10, 2011:

Would be nice if they were! But unfortunately there seems to be as many as there ever was, only nowadays they are super-rich.

Johnnydowney on April 10, 2011:

Wow. Thought the days of gangsters were long finished.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 10, 2011:

Thanks for those names Susan. I've more to write so no doubt they'll get a mention too!

susan goodie on April 10, 2011:

Please keep going Izzy Look at John healy Thornliebank taxis the Director George McDonald is no saint his Sons are Killers and Major drug dealers never worked but have bought houses and drive top of the range cars with money made by causing Misery to Families.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 10, 2011:

Thanks, Cat on a Soapbox :)

Catherine Tally from Los Angeles on April 10, 2011:

This has been enlightening. I had no idea. Thanks for writing about it! Congratulations :>)

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 08, 2011:

Hi Sue! 'Doll' sounds like a name those gangsters would use! Funnily enough it is also a Glasgow expression!

sue,(old friend) on April 08, 2011:

good one Izz, keep it up doll.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 08, 2011:

Well half of them are dead and not a worry anymore. It's the ones still living I am worried about! But it stinks the way the law seems to work two ways, one for the rich and one for the poor, even when the rich only got there by illegal means.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2011:

The wrong-doing rich always hire the best lawyers to get them off...or at least minimize their sentences. Quite an account you have assembled here of Glasgow Gangsters. You are probably not on their all time favorite list, but congrats on your contest win. Well deserved.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 07, 2011:

Thanks, Donna.

If I live long enough to collect it, that is!

Donna Cosmato from USA on April 07, 2011:

Excellent job and great reporting! Congratulations on your prize!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 06, 2011:

I'd see every single one of them put away for life LOL, Just as well it's not up to me:)

Native Gardener from Topanga Canyon, California on April 06, 2011:

This is a great story, and reads as a subject you are passionate about.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 05, 2011:

Thanks Carole :)

Although I knew a lot about the subject already, it actually took me several days to research through old and newer news reports to put this hub together. And the others in the group too.

carolapple from Suffolk Virginia on April 05, 2011:

Very informative. Looks like you have researched this topic well and your writing style is a delight to read. We ordinary law-abiding types need to know this stuff!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 05, 2011:

Thanks :)

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on April 05, 2011:

Congrats on the win, Izzy - great topic!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Patty, it isn't just in Glasgow though, is it? It's everywhere. And when you think about, the papers carry stories about this big drugs bust, or this big intervention on the supplies, yet still every addict gets their fix so there must be a huge amount more drugs on the streets that we'll ever know about. I've written here about some of the guys at the top of the chain. Multi-millionaires! Can you imagine how much drugs they are shifting? Oh and thanks for the congrats :)

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Thanks Ruby and Keystrokes :)

Dare say there are people like this in every town and city in the world. Sitting there in their expensive suits and driving their fancy cars, rolling in the money while people struggle to find the money to feed their habit.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 04, 2011:

Congratulations on the win! - I'd never seen this information before. Thanks!

India Arnold from Northern, California on April 04, 2011:

Wow. Very cool work Izzy! Totally deserved the win.


Maree Michael Martin from Northwest Washington on an Island on April 04, 2011:

Wow, that is simply amazing, congratulations on the contest. Scary indeed, very informative, things we have to know, for sure.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

It's time we all got together and drove them out, or something. Some say I'm brave for writing this - others might agree I'm stupid - but it needs brought out in the open, everywhere this is happening. These people MUST have protection from those who could successfully prosecute them.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on April 04, 2011:

WOW! What a story! Quester is right--it isn't only in Scotland. Urban areas in the US suffer the exact same blight, and nobody seems to be able to effectively do anything about it. In spite of the fact that these pervasive drugs are illegal, the law doesn't seem to have any control over the problem whatsoever. on April 04, 2011:

Unfortunately it is not just in Scotland - read yesterday that the '1%' in the US have more wealth than all of the other citizens together - although some of that 1% is legitimate mosts of it has come from illegitimate sources

You are a brave woman -

thanks for the eye opener


IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

I can never understand how these guys get away with it time and time again. They have the money to pay the best lawyers of course. And people in authority, who you would hope to be completely honest and open, are almost certainly being bought off too. The days of the open razor and threats are long gone. A nice cruise on the Mediterranean buys an awful lot more :)

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on April 04, 2011:

Congrats on your win. This is an interesting and informative hub. It makes my blood boil to see this kind of injustice, but there seems to be more and more of it everywhere these days.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Thanks Emdi :)

emdi on April 04, 2011:


IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Thanks Ms Dee :) That lot have been getting away with too much for too long.

Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on April 04, 2011:

Wonderful job putting out in the light such unlawful criminals given a free ride! And congratulations :)

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Wow!! That is wonderful!! Thank you so much!!!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 04, 2011:

LOL. And congrats IzzyM! This Hub won the Staff Pick prize for Saturday in the SYTYCWO contest!!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 04, 2011:

Remember if anyone wants my contact details, I don't have any :)

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 04, 2011:

Whoah, this is very interesting... and scary too! Thanks for putting together such a great overview of the situation!

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 03, 2011:

I think I should be OK - there is plenty about them already on the net and I'm not hearing of any of those sites getting reprisals.

Nan Mynatt on April 03, 2011:

Izzy it appears that the whole world is hooked on drugs. I am surprised that Scotland is a drug world. Be careful, people don't like to be singled out.

IzzyM (author) from UK on April 03, 2011:

Think I might have to move to your neck of the woods, John, after publishing this!

John Harper from Malaga, Spain on April 03, 2011:

Brave lady Izzy, what an eyeopener!


IzzyM (author) from UK on April 03, 2011:

I've barely scratched the surface of the extent of blatant wrongdoing and obvious collaboration with the authorities that is going on. There are a huge amount of people involved in all of this, and it's us mugs, the public, who have to put up with it.

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on April 03, 2011:

Great work, it amazes me how people get away with this.

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