Book Title: The Black Market Concierge: Sanction Busting, Smuggling & Spying for America
Author: Barry Oberholzer
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 177 pages
Release date: November 2016
Tour dates: Sept 25 to Oct 13, 2017
Content Rating: PG (Violence)
Barry Oberholzer’s secret life as a confidential informant, infiltrating international organized crime syndicates and sanction-busting activity hit headlines in 2012. Oberholzer reported an array of vital intelligence to the CIA and multiple intelligence agencies across the world. For years, he has worked across the Middle East and behind the scenes as a confidential informant making connections, extracting valuable intelligence, and facing off against America’s greatest enemy at every turn.
In The Black Market Concierge, he opens a window into his double life as an informant; informing on the role of key players including major corporations, crime syndicates, politicians and government officials in high-value international smuggling operations.
After exposing corruption at the highest levels of government in South Africa, he is ready to give a no holds barred account of what it is like to live the life of a high-level, confidential informant.
His memoir is a searingly honest account of a boy aviation enthusiast who cascaded into the world of international espionage and how it ultimately sent him in search of salvation in his devout Christian faith. It is a testimony that will move even the most cold-hearted.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
Barry Oberholzer has written a fascinating memoir. He explains how smuggling works, such as supplying plane parts to buyers in Iran. Because of sanctions, they couldn’t just purchase them anywhere so sellers like Barry would find them for them. He was originally in it for the money but when he was approached to be a Confidential Informant, he had no problem with working with the feds.
When Barry did end up in prison, it was on bogus charges by a South African official who didn’t like him. He did spend too much time in prison but he was lucky he got a decent judge at one point or he’d probably still be there, or dead. Speaking of which, I can’t believe he is still alive! There were several times that I couldn’t believe what he’d gotten himself into but this man is fearless.
I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but The Black Market Concierge kept my interest and I would definitely read another book by Barry Oberholzer that went more into his personal life during these times.
Meet the Author
Born in Houston, Texas, a former professional rugby player and current CrossFit and Ironman athlete, Barry is the founder of TerrorMate app and is a counter-terrorism and intelligence expert. Formerly Barry served as a confidential informant for Department of Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Belgium Customs Intelligence and HM Revenue & Customs Intelligence in the United Kingdom.
One of his most impactful successes was in his identification of Iranian sanction busting syndicates who smuggled US manufactured aircraft and parts to Iran which led to the arrests of several prominent international businessmen. He also had numerous successes in major illicit cigarette seizures in Europe.
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