My Dad, Mr Nice: Life As The Daughter Of Britain’s Best-Known Cannabis Smuggler

Howard Marks was a notorious drug smuggler. He was also a caring, fun father, says his daughter Amber – now a barrister and pharmacology expert. Could her family archives shed new light on his life of crime?

Duncan Campbell
Sat 21 Aug 2021 06.00 BST
In 1988, 10-year-old Amber Marks was woken at her home in Palma de Mallorca by the sound of her younger sister Francesca screaming. She got out of bed and found two strange men in the hall, one of whom would shortly introduce himself as Craig Lovato of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

In the statement made at the time, she described the scene: “I went into Mummy’s arms and asked what was happening. She said she didn’t know… I cuddled Mummy who was being sick… Lovato turned to Mummy and said he was going to extradite her and Daddy to America… Lovato asked for the keys of the car and I fetched Mummy’s handbag. He took the keys and gave her the purse, and said she’d need it where she was going. I asked him to please bring her back to say goodbye if they were going to extradite her. He said, ‘Maybe.’”

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