#136: International Drug Smuggler, Pieter Tritton, on Surviving South America’s Toughest Prisons

Pieter Tritton, also known as ‘Posh Pete’, is an ex-drug trafficker who has spent almost a decade in the most dangerous prisons in South America. He isn’t what you’d imagine when you think of a typical drug dealer though; Pieter grew up in the middle-class area of Gloucestershire in the UK and studied Archaeology at Cardiff University. It was at University that his drug dealing started to take off.

He soon became involved in international drug trafficking and was making hundreds of thousands of pounds from the ‘business’, selling high quality cocaine in enormous amounts. He was an inconspicuous drug kingpin, until he was arrested in Ecuador in 2005 and entered the hardcore world of South American prisons. He was released in 2015 and has vowed to never return to a life of crime.

In this episode, we discuss his experience behind bars, witnessing multiple murders in prison, and fighting to survive amongst violent prison gang warfare.

Pieter talks about his childhood. [02:42]

We hear how Pieter became involved in drugs. [06:52]

Pieter opens up about the trauma he was suffering from, caused by the death of two of his close friends within the same month, as well as witnessing other deaths. [08:19]

Pieter talks about a big drug bust, and consequently his arrest, by the police. [16:38]

We hear about Pieter’s first time in prison, and how he was remanded into HMP Gloucester, listed as a category A prisoner, which is a high-risk prisoner in a maximum-security unit. [17:16]

The impact of prison on Pieter’s family is discussed. [19:44]

We find out that Pieter was a main character in the UK documentary series ‘Banged Up’. [21:13]

Pieter talks about how he became involved in international drug dealing. [26:14]

We hear the story of how Pieter was smuggled out of England with the aim to ‘go on the run’ to France to escape the police after they raided a lab being used by Pieter and his fellow drug dealers. [36:09]

Pieter describes what the prisons were like in Ecuador. [45:56]

The horrific incident of Pieter witnessing a prison mate get shot in front of him is touched on. [1:03]

Pieter talks about struggling with tuberculosis for three years after a pharmaceutical company tested a vaccination on prisoners. [1:09]

Pieter’s book, El Infierno, which he wrote after his release from prison in 2015, is discussed. [1:13]

Pieter talks about getting out of prison, adjusting to a new life, and his plans for the future. [1:14]

“Before I knew it, I was supplying tens of thousands of pills, hundreds of kilos of weed…” [08:03]

“I was probably making between twenty and thirty thousand pounds a month.” [13:34]

“They would close the whole wing down, put everyone in their cells just to take me to get my dinner. No one was allowed to talk to me…All my phone calls were recorded, all my letters were photocopied…They made my life hell for the first year.” [18:32]

“In prison, you get on and deal with it and adapt, or you become a victim.” [20:15]

“I ended up getting smuggled out of Britain by the Turkish mafia in the boot of a Mercedes car through Dover into Calais.” [36:10]

“I actually had to say to the judge ‘please don’t sentence me to less than ten years because if you do, the British police will either extradite me or, when I complete my sentence here, they will then re-sentence me on my return to Britain.” [44:47]

“Getting back to Britain, I didn’t think it would be a culture shock for me because it’s my own culture and I’m British, but I get back to Britain…and it was just a crazy culture shock.” [1:15]

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