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Notorious Liverpool drug lord Curtis 'Cocky' Warren prepares for prison release after 14 years

The jailed drugs baron, who flooded the UK and Ireland with cocaine and heroin until he was nabbed in 1996, was once reputed to be worth almost £200m

Curtis 'Cocky' Warren

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Liverpool's most notorious drug lord Curtis 'Cocky' Warren will be banned from social media and subjected to strict travel restrictions when he is released from prison next month.

The jailed drugs baron dubbed Britain's Pablo Escobar, who flooded the UK and Ireland with cocaine and heroin until he was nabbed in 1996 and was once reputed to be worth almost £200m, has been behind bars for the last 14 years.

While Warren, now 59, is about to freed but will be subject to the terms of a crime prevention order which means his liberty will be restricted.

The newly devised watchlist by UK police also means he won't be able to enjoy his fortune after he is released from jail and will be prohibited from using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and from using cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

He will also have to give his National Crime Agency (NCA) minder a day's notice if he even gets into someone's car or van. A recent Times report said if Warren wants to travel to Scotland he will have to provide the NCA seven days' notice.

Warren, who flooded the UK and Ireland with cocaine and heroin until he was nabbed in 1996 in Holland, was estimated to have made an incredible Stg£198 million (E230 million) during his criminal career.

He was locked up for the second time in 2009 after his release from prison in the Netherlands when he went straight back to drug dealing and tried to flood the island of Jersey with narcotics.

Caged for 13 years, he got a further 10 years in 2014 when he was ordered to pay back the enormous sum on a confiscation order but refused, saying he didn't have the funds.

A key man in Europe for Colombia's Cali Cartel which controlled a large portion of the world's cocaine supply, by the age of 34, Warren's drug money had built an empire that included properties in Wales, Spain and Gambia.

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There was also a winery in Bulgaria, petrol stations and apartment blocks in Turkey, a yacht, a 16 room mansion in the Netherlands and more than 200 rental properties, the Liverpool Echo reported.

As he has served all his sentence behind bars, he isn't being released on licence but will be subject to the crime prevention order which will come into effect.

Warren will be watched by the agency's lifetime management team, who are in charge of upholding the crime prevention order for the next five years.

He will not have to obey a curfew and has the right to apply for a British passport but he can only use one mobile phone, one sim card and one phone number.

It was reported he cannot hold more than £1,000 in cash, even in coins - and he will be closely watched when trying to borrow money, hold trusts or shares, or make transfers.

Any breaches of the order could see him taken straight back to prison

Warren was the subject of a Sunday World Crime World podcast in which Nicola Tallant spoke to author Peter Walsh, who wrote the bestseller 'Cocky' and Drug War: The Secret History which tracks the rise of gangland in the UK.

In his book Cocky, Walsh revealed how Warren went from petty crook to armed robber to the very top of the drugs ladder in record time, while being mentored by a shadowy underworld figure who is suspected of putting up investment funds and using him as the front man of a huge drug conspiracy.

The mixed race Toxeth native was only in his mid 20s when he moved to Amsterdam to live full time after a gang war broke out in his native Liverpool. From there, he organised the biggest importation of cocaine at the time, dealing directly with the brutal Cali cartel from Colombia.

More than 500 kilos of drugs got into the UK before the second shipment of 900 kilos was stopped as he arranged to transport it.

Warren had been placed under surveillance by Dutch police after Merseyside officers detailed him as their top target. Wire taps were placed on his phones and he was heard arranging the transport of the drugs and even bribing the most senior police officer ever to be caught up in a corruption probe.

After he was jailed in the Netherlands, UK police prosecuted Detective Chief Superintendent Elmore Davies, who was jailed for five years for his role in a plot to undermine the justice system.

In prison Warren killed a fellow inmate and on his release in 2007 went straight back into the game, getting nabbed within weeks as he plotted to flood Jersey with cannabis.

In 2009 he was given 13 years for the plot to import drugs and in 2014 he got 10 years for failing to pay up on the confiscation order.

He was also caught having sex with a female officer, Stephanie Smithwhite, when he was jailed near Durham in HMP Frankland prison.

The officer pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office but was said to be devastated that her relationship with Warren had to come to an end after they were caught. A court heard she had cut a hole in the crotch of her prison officer's uniform to facilitate sex with Warren.

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