(Excerpted from The Grateful Unrich…Chapter 21: The Ho Chi Minh Trail)
We’re up at 5:15 AM to catch the 6:00 minibus to Hat Lek on the Cambodian border. As I enter my 34th country, I refuse to pay the 100 baht health stamp. I win this round, but when I insist that I will pay the official visa rate of $20, I am outwitted. I ask for a receipt. The wily border official says, “The department head was just here yesterday and he asked $25 too.” I laugh and pay up. Continue reading
(Excerpted from The Grateful Unrich…:Chapter 18: Overland to Costa Rica)
Trujillo, Honduras is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It is wedged between the Madre de Dios and the Caribbean, sitting on a huge bay. Columbus and his henchmen must have been blown away when they stepped ashore here in 1502. William Walker was literally blown away by local Indians. The pirate is buried in the town cemetery, a good distance from more decent folks.
This morning we hike into Capiro y Calentura National Park. The butterfly assortment is amazing and the quiet is welcome. We ponder a trip south into the remote Miskito Coast region, but it is expensive getting around and quite dangerous, since it is a major drug-running route from South America. We decide to head for the capital instead. Continue reading
(Excerpted from Chapter 6: The Bank of Crooks & Criminals International: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
The Black Network
The Bank of Credit & Commerce International’s (BCCI) most notorious acts were hatched out of its Karachi branch, where the bank’s Black Network (BN) operated. BN was a global intelligence and enforcement unit that specialized in transporting arms, drugs and gold. BN operations overlapped with the operations of CIA, Israeli Mossad, the Pakistani ISI and Saudi intelligence, all of whom had accounts at BCCI. BN served as middleman for Saudi aid to both the Nicaraguan contras and the Afghan mujahadeen, aid which was being solicited by Richard Secord.  Continue reading