In this episode, how one Glasgow man went from being a language teacher to a major drugs kingpin – with links to the Colombian drug trade.

Mild-mannered and wearing horn-rimmed glasses, Brian Doran looked every inch the former schoolteacher he was.

However, in the 1980s' and 1990's the Glasgow travel agent was also alleged to be one of Britain’s biggest criminals with connections all the way to the cocaine fields of Columbia and their major drug cartels.

Men like Fabio Ochoa, who headed a criminal empire in the South American country said to be worth a mind-blowing five billion pounds a year.

Doran, who ran his own travel firm in Glasgow, was known as King Coke, The Professor and El Jock and also had aliases like Gustavo Duran, Bernard Martin and Bernard Dunn.

He used his language skills and travel expertise to become a major player in the global trade of illegal drugs.

For more than two decades, police and customs officials were dedicated to international to bring him to justice.

Even when he was caught and given 25 years behind bars, he managed to have the conviction overturned.

Doran was particularly gifted in languages.

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As a boy from a working-class Glasgow home, he studied hard, got a degree in Latin American studies, and became a teacher.

Married with five children, he moved into the travel trade and became managing director of Blue Sky Holidays in Glasgow in the late 1970s.

Doran found himself involved with some of the city's up-and-coming drug dealers known as the Happy Dust Gang.

However, they only spoke English and turned to Doran to use his language skills, particularly Spanish.

By the early 1980s, Doran was said to be flooding Glasgow with cocaine bought in by the Happy Dust Gang from Holland hidden in the dashboards of cars.

By now he was the owner of a luxury home in Terregles Avenue, Pollokshields and a familiar figure in the city's most exclusive nightspots like Charlie Parker's in Royal Exchange Square.

However, in late 1982 it all turned sour for Doran after he and three others were arrested on drug trafficking charges by Strathclyde Police.

They had started to investigate the so-called Happy Dust Gang after hearing of large amounts of cocaine circulating among Glasgow's in-crowd. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, two Happy Dust Gang members were sentenced to six months after being convicted of possessing cocaine worth £8,000.

Doran, who was on bail, was about to go on trial on cocaine-smuggling charges at the High Court in Glasgow in April 1983 when he fled to Marbella leaving his wife and family behind him.

In doing so he forfeited bail of £5000.

In Doran's absence, his friend Andrew Tait, who had a bakery called The Pantry on Byres Road in the West End, stood trial alone and was jailed for two years for smuggling cocaine through English ferry terminals.

The judge told Tait that he accepted that his role had been subordinate to Doran's.

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When Doran fled to Spain, he was already known to their police.

He had spent a few days in a Spanish police cell - before his arrest in Glasgow on cocaine charges - after being detained for alleged ticket touting at the 1982 World Cup finals.

He set off to break the official World Cup monopoly by selling tickets for Scotland's three games directly to the Tartan Army.

The venture flopped and left Doran unable to sell his tickets.

He was instead forced to stand outside the stadium touting them which led to his arrest by police.

On his return to Spain, Doran denied trying to cash in on the Scotland fans.

He claimed he was the victim of a collapsed ticket deal with a Spanish football club, costing him a fortune.

He also tried another doomed venture, a Spanish-based football magazine.

Doran spent six years in Spain as a fugitive having fled there to avoid extradition on cocaine smuggling charges.

At the time there was no extradition agreement with Britain.

As a result, scores of criminals from across Scotland and the UK had fled there to escape justice.

Many settled in the south of the country which quickly became known as the Costa Del Crime.

Doran quickly became entangled in the Spanish drugs scene. He lived near fashionable Puerto Banus and ran a bar, happy in the knowledge he couldn't be extradited.

Soon he was mixing with the heavies of British crime, the Ronnie Knights and the Freddie Foremans who had fled justice for a Costa safe haven.

His other business interests were said to include a property agency which sold holiday villas.

However, the champagne lifestyle could not protect him from personal pain.

His wife, Mary, had brought their five children to Spain to be with him.

But their son Michael, then six, who had been born disabled, had to go back to Scotland for hospital treatment.

He died in May 1984 and was buried in Glasgow.

The grieving father, faced with drug-smuggling charges if he returned, stayed in Spain.

In his absence, further legal moves against Doran were mounting up in Scotland.

He was charged with defrauding the Bank of Scotland of almost £26,000, and a travel firm he worked with sued him for money they claimed he owed them.

Even in his hideaway in the sun, things were getting too hot for Doran.

He was one of many suspects arrested in June 1987, when the Spanish authorities claimed to have broken a £50m-a-year smuggling operation involving Moroccan hashish.

He was said to be the mastermind behind the racket.

Spanish detectives believed Doran was one of the ringleaders in a cartel bringing drugs from North Africa to the UK. The drugs were hidden among crates of citrus fruits in refrigerated lorries.

Police seized a light aircraft, six launches, two lorries, a fleet of luxury cars, including a Rolls Royce, and four Mercedes all with British plates.

Doran protested his innocence and boasted while being held in jail: ''I'll get off this one and be found not guilty. My days in prison are numbered.''

To the dismay of police, after six months Doran was released on bail pending further investigations, the judge explaining that the evidence against him was ''thin''.

Doran was soon on the move once more to escape the police's attention.

He set up some in Amsterdam where he rented a flat near the red-light district.

But choosing Holland had been a big mistake. Doran walked straight into a surveillance operation run by Dutch cops. His name was passed to Interpol who informed Strathclyde police.

They couldn't believe their luck - the man who had given them the slip had finally slipped up himself.

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Doran spent £25,000 on a failed bid to avoid extradition to Scotland.

After several months of legal wrangles in the Dutch courts, as Doran tried to fight extradition, he was taken back to Scotland to face the charges from which he had fled six years earlier.

In October 1989, he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment at the High Court in Glasgow after being found guilty of supplying cocaine in the city.

By the direction of the court, the 44-year-old was found not guilty of smuggling the drug into the country.

Defending himself, Doran exercised his powers of persuasion in a tearful but vain plea to the jury to acquit him and let him go home to his wife and family after his years on the run.

He claimed he had stayed away from Scotland because he was being framed by police.

He also insisted that, although he and his friends had used cocaine, he had never been a dealer.

However, his pleas fell on deaf ears, and he was sent down.

Doran completed his backdated sentence at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh in July 1990.

Spanish police then tried to extradite him to stand trial on the charges for which they had arrested him three years earlier.

But without success.

However, it wasn’t long before Doran was again in trouble with the law at home.

He was held by police in Cambridge in late 1991, charged with an offence relating to fraudulently obtaining a passport.

A few months later he was back in a Scottish court, this time in Stirling where he was fined £100 and ordered to pay the TSB £200 after admitting obtaining goods by fraudulent use of a credit card in local shops.

His lawyer told the Sheriff Court that Doran was ''a man down on his luck''.

Since his release from prison, he had been trying to re-establish himself as a businessman with a salvaged goods operation in Glasgow.

But the premises and stock had been destroyed by fire.

The lawyer added: ‘He is resolved not to appear in the courts in the future, both as a matter of honour to himself and to his family."

But Doran's so-called resolve obviously did not last long.

During his time in Spain, Doran had carefully built up a network of contacts and became close friends with representatives of Colombian drug cartels like the Ochoa family.

He was even said to have visited them in Colombia to gain their trust.

They in turn were said to be intrigued by the small balding Scotsman who spoke fluent Spanish.

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It was during this period when dealing with the Colombians that Doran decided to cut out all the middlemen and bring the cocaine directly from Colombia to Europe and the UK.

In the early 1990s, he teamed up with another Scot Kenneth Togher from Bellshill in Lanarkshire.

The two set about establishing their own operation importing tons of cocaine from South America every month

Both men were however being watched closely.

Customs investigators secretly visited a hotel room in London that was being used by Doran.

There they found £10,000, a Cartier watch, and photographed personal documents, including bank transfers to Colombia involving false names.

Doran travelled widely, and also had substantial financial resources, paying around £37,000 in advance rent for a villa at Cap D'Antibes in the south of France.

Customs investigators also learned that in July 1994, Doran had visited a Geneva bank where an associate had an account containing £250,000.

They then heard that a ''big'' shipment of cocaine was expected in Britain.

It quickly led the authorities back to Doran and Togher.

Customs and Excise investigators had already set up Operation Stealer to catch the pair in 1993. 

More than 100 officers were deployed in Britain alone to bring them to justice in a two-year operation.

They used covert cameras, sophisticated listening equipment and forensic accountants to trace any big money transfers

In 1995 Doran and Togher were arrested in London after a major drugs find by Customs and Excise.

They had seized a catamaran Frugal at Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, carrying 300kg of pure cocaine to Britain from Colombia.

Two years later, both men were found guilty of trafficking £57million worth of cocaine at Bristol Crown Court

They were sentenced to 25 years each after being described in court as "two of Britain's biggest gangsters".

During the Bristol trial, the chief prosecutor, Mr Michael Corkery QC, said of Doran: ''He was the principal. The top man. He had contacts in South America and had lived in Colombia until December 1993, when he returned to Britain.

''He was the controlling mind in the importation in January 1995.''

Mr Corkery also described how Doran took great pains to distance himself from the various deals adding: ''He took enormous trouble to not use any contacts that could be traced to him. He generally made sure other people took the risks in the frontline while he stayed safely away from the action.

''Anti-bugging devices were used on home phones, and there was use of false names on passports.''

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Both Togher and Doran had been accused of running their drug-smuggling operations from five-star London hotels and holding secret meetings at places such as the Tate Gallery.

Investigators reckoned their operation was worth £50 million per year, which they used to fund a lavish champagne lifestyle splashing out on world travel, luxury homes and fast cars.

At one stage, Doran was based at a £1000-a-night suite in London's Lanesborough.

Togher was said to own a yacht, a Mercedes and a Harley Davidson motorbike.

Two heavyweight London gangsters Tony White and John Short were convicted alongside the Scottish pair.

White had previously been acquitted of being a member of the gang which carried out the £26 million Brinks-Mat bullion raid at Heathrow in 1983.

Short was once Scotland Yard's most wanted man and had been sentenced to 21 years for armed robbery.

However, two years later Doran and Togher's convictions were overturned on the basis that the 1997 trial judge's summing up was misleading, though the pair remained behind bars.

A subsequent retrial also collapsed after hearing that customs officers had failed to get proper authorisation to bug hotel rooms where the multi-million-pound cocaine plot was being hatched.

The judge, Mr Justice Tuner, launched a scathing criticism of the Customs "debacle".

Their officers had crept into Togher's London hotel room in 1993 and placed bugging and camera equipment without permission.

Mr Justice Turner added: "It would not be right to leave this case without expressing a deep sense of judicial concern over what may be considered to be a scandalous result.

"This arises out of the undoubted commission of a crime which is as socially corrosive and destructive as the importation of a massive quantity of high-purity cocaine, and which will, in effect, now go unpunished."

The customs bungle led to a spate inquiry by retired judge Gerald Butler, who criticised their methods.

Though the 25-year term was quashed both men remained behind bars as they had pleaded guilty to other drug dealing charges linked to Operation Stealer, for which they received nine years each.

Both Doran and Togher were eventually set free in 2003.

In 2004 Doran was named in a newspaper as one of Scotland's 10 richest criminals with an estimated fortune of pounds 10 million, which it appeared he had managed to hide from the authorities.

The following year Doran, now 60, and Togher, 41, were back behind bars after failing to hand over pounds £1.6million of their criminal proceeds - £800,000 each - by a previously imposed deadline.

Little is now known about Doran, who would now be in his late 70s.

It was rumoured at one stage that drug bosses from Colombia and London had ordered his execution - as a result of previous deals which had gone wrong for both men.

One newspaper interview in 1999 gave revealing insight into Doran and why he had gone from a respectable teacher and businessman to an international drug dealer.

An unnamed former associate told how he first met Doran back in the late 1970s when Doran was managing director of his travel firm.

He said: "Brian was such a flamboyant figure. Even then, he spent beyond his means.

"He used to have the most fabulous parties, mingling with showbiz and sports personalities. “

It was while in Spain after 1983 that Doran made his key connections with organised crime factions.

At first, he lived in a modest apartment block in Puerto Banus but, as his fortune grew, he was said to have moved into an eight-bedroom mansion in a wealthy Marbella suburb.

The source added: "Brian was not a villain.

"But what he had to offer criminal overlords was his business knowledge in travel, the movements of planes and routes.

"More importantly he had fluent Spanish and two other languages.

"Within months, Doran was making contacts all over Europe and setting up transportation of containers from England to Spain."

 He was so well thought of he would fly from Spain to Colombia three or four times a year to deal personally with the drug barons.

"It is difficult to say just what amount of drugs he was personally organising.

"But I would guess upwards of £10 million a year.

"Brian's lifestyle was lavish. He had the best of everything. Money was no object."