Published: May 2013
The extraordinary tale of how an officer in the highest echelons of Australian policing was caught allegedly coordinating an international drug network operation that extended from rebels in the Congo to some of the most feared drug lords in the Netherlands to street gangs in Pakistan and crime figures in Australia's underworld. To those who knew him, Mark Standen was a stand up guy, a top cop who was never one to mince his words. As an assistant director for the NSW Crime Commission, he led some of Australia's most high-profile criminal investigations and, as a 30-year veteran in law enforcement, there was little he didn't know about the underworld. He had been privy to every top secret police operation into organized crime and international drug running in Australia except one—Operation Octans, which saw him arrested as the mastermind behind one of the country's biggest-ever drug-smuggling plots. Standen's breath-taking breach of security, the level of which has never been seen before in Australian law-enforcement history, has prompted a review of every major police operation he may have been involved in, or had knowledge of, or that could now be compromised. The implications of the rat in the ranks—a man driven by sex, greed, and a gambling habit—cannot be overstated. Charles Miranda was given world exclusive access to go inside the joint Dutch-Australian operation that was one of the most extensive and covert ever mounted. He follows the twists and turns in the plot that made front page news across Australia. Engrossing, frightening, and action packed, this is truly a story that everybody will be talking about.