Andrew Deamer, a key figure in a £354 million cocaine racket, made do with rice, a bowl of watery soup and a tiny piece of rotting banana for Christmas
As a key figure in a £354 million cocaine racket, Andrew Deamer was used to a gangster’s lifestyle.
But today the crook was given the vile Christmas dinner he deserves inside the Colombian jail where he is doing 14 years.
Instead of turkey, the British con made do with rice, a bowl of watery soup, a mouthful of grated carrot – and a tiny piece of rotting banana for dessert.
And instead of games with his family, he played cards with the two hitmen who share his 10ft by 13ft cell on a high security wing.
Deamer – dubbed the East Midlands Escobar after the notorious South American trafficker Pablo Escobar – revealed his miserable Christmas in an interview from rat-infested La Picota jail in Bogota.
He told us: “Christmas is a time for family and it’s devastating to be so far from home at this time of the year never knowing if I will make it out alive from this ordeal.
“It’s at times like this you realise crime just doesn’t pay. I would give anything to spend Christmas with my mum and my brother who I love and miss very much.
“The hardest part isn’t the rats or the disgusting soup, it’s being away from your family. I regret the pain and worry I put
Deamer, 55, who shared mobile phone snaps of his unappetising Christmas nosh, went on: “Being here is very scary.
“Everything you can see on documentaries about how hard prison is in Colombia is an understatement.
“It’s hell on earth. My cellmates are some of the most dangerous offenders in Colombia. But we get on very well and spend our time playing cards or board games.”
Deamer, from Barrow upon Soar, Leics, spent Christmas apart from Colombian wife Marcela Zapaleta and their 10 golden retrievers.
They lived in a hillside farmhouse on the edge of Rionegro, Escobar’s home town, and drove a Rolls-Royce.
Troops arrested the pair in a dramatic raid on their hideaway.
Deamer, whose dad was also a convicted drugs smuggler, has been inside for more than three years.
Officials say he disguised cocaine as dog food and shipped it to the UK, mainland Europe and the US.
Deamer added: “The prison is extremely dangerous and each wing is run by prisoners. There are many knife fights and many murders here.
“In the last three months there have been six killings and two escapes. There are armed gangs on the stairwells who rob inmates at knifepoint.
“Each cell has a makeshift lock on the inside to keep other prisoners from attacking inmates during any unrest.”
Deamer says he curries favour with guards by giving them English lessons.
He was sentenced to 14 years but reckons he could be freed as early as 2024 after legal wrangling.
Among his co-defendants was notorious cartel boss Juan Santiago Gallón Henao, who was characterised in Netflix hit Narcos.
Henao is also the prime suspect in the execution of Colombian footballer Andrés Escobar after he scored an own goal during the 1994 World Cup.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.