Sometimes the best intentions can have the worst results. In 1908, British reformers banned the export of Indian opium to China. As a result, the world price of opium soared to a new high and a century of lucrative drug smuggling began. Criminal producers in other countries exploited the prohibition and gang wars broke out across South-East Asia. It was the greatest gift the British Empire gave to organised crime. Empire of Crime introduces the reader to a whole new collection of heroes and villains, including pioneering narcotics investigator Russell Pasha, commandant of the Cairo police force; master criminal Du Yue-Sheng, drug lord of the Shanghai underworld; and tough North-West Frontier police chief Lieutenant-Colonel Roos-Keppel, nemesis of Afghan criminal gangs. Tim Newark weaves hidden reports, secret government files and personal letters together with first-hand accounts to tell the epic story of a global fight against organised crime.