A global workforce. Billions in sales. But, unlike Tesco or BP, few have heard of it. The Cartel is Britain’s biggest drugs organisation, a shadowy network stretching from the freezing, foggy banks of the Mersey to the glittering marinas of Marbella, from the coffee shops of Amsterdam to the trading floors of Canary Wharf. On the bottom rung, there are street gangs who dress in black North Face jackets and are armed to the teeth. At the top, there are drug lords worth more than ?200 million who hide behind a web of front companies. It began as a loose alliance of petty criminals in a run-down city in northern England and grew until its members were using private planes to skip between continents, dealing drugs on an industrial scale. In The Cartel, Graham Johnson tells the inside story.