Life in the Mexican drug Cartels.
Mexican drug cartels. Double agents. International money laundering. Gun fights. Massacres.
This is a novel based on the life of Keith Bulfin - a conservative Melbourne father, pushing middle age - who is drawn into a world of drug smuggling and horrific violence in Mexico City. Keith is a stockbroker when, convicted of conspiracy to defraud, he is inexplicably sent to a Supermax unit in Victoria's Port Philip prison. There, among the murderers, rapists and psychopaths, Keith befriends the infamous Mexican drug cartel banker, Daniel Gomez. It is a friendship that will change his life.
Once free, Keith is approached by the US Drug Enforcement Agency who are keen to take advantage of his connection with Gomez. Given little choice but to comply and become a DEA Agent, Keith soon learns that his role as an undercover private banker to the ruthless Mexican drug cartels is one of the most dangerous assignments in the world. If discovered, both he and his family will pay the ultimate price for betrayal.
Undercover is a chilling novel that delves into the inside workings of Mexican drug cartels and the DEA, and reveals one man's courage in outwitting them both in his personal battle for redemption.
Keith Bulfin is a New Zealander, born in 1946. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland Australia with a double major in Economics in 1983. He has worked in the finance industry in South Africa and the UK and for the University of Papua New Guinea as an administrator and lecturer in Accounting. Working in the Australian investment banking industry as a share and mortgage broker in the 1980s, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud over the valuations of Lasseters Casino and Dreamworld. Keith spent three years in a Supermax prison, housed in one of the most dangerous units in Australia. He was beaten, stabbed and spent a significant part of his time in solitary confinement. During this period he was introduced by prison authorities to two Mexican fugitives. It was his friendship with them that led to his recruitment by the US Department of Justice to operate a covert banking operation in Mexico for the Mexican drug cartels.
Undercover: A Novel of a Life
Random House Australia
Author: Keith Bulfin
Question: Why did you decide to write this book?
Keith Bulfin: After I'd finished working for the agency it was an emotional journey for me and I was very depressed and wanted to work out what I could do, with my life. By writing the book, it was like therapy for me and I found an enormous amount of relief. Once I'd completed writing the book I spoke to Random House and other people about my journey, I was very emotional and my stress levels were huge, in the sense that I would become very red in the face. Now that I am talking about my journey, more and the more I talk about it the more relief I get with the more people that know about my experiences. It is an enormous relief to me to be speaking about this.
Unfortunately my family knew nothing about what I was involved in and as a consequence of that they've only recently found out about the book and recently found out what I was actually doing. They are now going through an emotional ride, themselves as they didn't know. They have said they don't want to read the book and that all of the information is news to them.
My family and friends have also said "now we understand why you were so quiet and that you didn't talk about it". My family will go through the same sort of period, it needs time for them to talk about it and be open about it and they will then feel the relief, that I do, right now.
Question: What do you hope comes from the book?
Keith Bulfin: I think that what people understand from the Government Agencies is that they can manipulate people and can use people; I am one example of that and I talk about that. I also talk about the girl who worked at the CIA and the film called Fair Play where she was exposed, she made that comment and I saw the trailer- I feel for her when she says "I've got to fight back, I'm not going to let them walk all over me" because otherwise they will destroy you. She fought back because they had set out to destroy her and she wanted to tell her story and has now beaten them at their own game.
In my case, they made promises to me and then at the end of the day they don't come through, with those promises. I did this for a number of reasons and one of those was I didn't have a choice in the first place and then I thought this book gives me credibility and then allows me to reestablish myself not only financially but with the creditability. The backing of the US Department of Justice- that would be great! But they don't do that, they just keep saying "oh no, you can't do that because you're an undercover agent and that would be a risk, to you and we don't want you to say anything because it's too dangerous". I thought to myself 'well that's not what you promised' and when you argue they say "no, no, you have to be careful".
I understand now how the Government Agencies work and like the girl, I spoke about earlier, I am tired of it. They didn't council me or direct me to a therapist that would work with me to overcome all the affairs that I have endured during the seven years. I have recovered myself, by writing and talking about it. I feel that I have made it known to the public that you can be used and manipulated by Government Agencies and Government and you have to be aware of that.
Question: Was this book, for you, was a therapy process?
Keith Bulfin: Absolutely! I feel so much better today than I did yesterday and the day before.
Question: Do you think this book will have a positive outcome on your future?
Keith Bulfin: Absolutely! People will look at me different, as well. My friends have said to me recently, when they came to my book launch, 'we didn't know! Why didn't you tell us?' I just didn't want to talk about it, in the back of my mind I though 'if I talk about it people will say "so what are you telling me? You're telling me you work for the DEA and the FBI? How bizarre is that! Have another drink and talk about football!"
By writing about it, I don't have to talk about it and people just come up to me and a lot of my friends have provided me with a bottle of wine or sent me a note saying 'we understand, we understand you don't like talking about it and now we won't ask you any more questions, because you've answered them all, in the book'.
Question: Do you think your family will ever read the book?
Keith Bulfin: I think eventually they will, one day down the track. I am hoping that their friends will say "we read the book and it's a fantastic read. You ought to read it." Maybe in a year or two years down the track they'll read it and they then would be in the right frame of mind. It's important to remember that they went through a very difficult time; they had police living at our house, protecting the family at times when things got a bit rough. As a consequence of that they didn't quite understand what was going on and it was never explained to them.
Question: Do you still take precautions to ensure you and your family are safe?
Keith Bulfin: I have a police commander, who recruited me, his always a phone call away. I talk to him once or twice a week and he has already spoken to my family, a number of times, to each individual member of the family and said "at anytime that you want to talk or you feel there is a threat of any description, you ring me." He is really good and he has been a good contact; he was interviewed on Today Tonight, his in his 70's and he has all the right connections. He has been a great help.
The thing with my affairs with the drug cartels are that most of the people I have dealt with are in prison or are dead. The ones that are still alive and active, I've never betrayed them. As long as nothing happens to me, nothing is going to happen to my them.