After witnessing an incident on a foreign ship off California coast, a U.S. Treasury agent aboard a Coast Guard vessel decides to further investigate the matter by following a crime trail leading to China, Egypt, Lebanon and Cuba.
Based on the files of the United States Department of Treasury. Commissioner Michael Barrows is an American Government Agent. On board a Coast Gaurd boat off the California coast he chases a ship. The Captain of the ship, the Kira Maru, panics and ruthlessly sends 100 Chinese slaves to a watery death. Barrows recovers a live preserver that tells him the ship is out of Shanghai. He travels there to track down the ship's captain and discovers that these deaths point to a huge drug smuggling operation. In Shanghai, while searching for the captain of the Kira Maru, he becomes suspicious of a women, Ann Grant, believing she's Jean Hawks the narcotics ringleader. He follows the narcotics trail "to the ends of the Earth" taking him from Shanghai to Cairo, Beirut and Havana to stop the drugs and the jean Hawks ring at the US border.Written by
This is necessarily a story of violence, intrigue...and death. If portions of it shock you, remember it is based on actual incidents from hitherto secret files of the U.S. Treasury and its Bureaus of Narcotics, Customs and Coast Guard.
This film is great from start to finish as it outlines the ingenious methods used by the drug traders. Some harrowing scenes as the Chinese slaves (being smuggled to pick poppies) are disposed of. A freighter of doubtful origin is spotted off the U.S. coastline. The coastguard investigates and as it draws near, the captain of the coast guard cutter is witness to a most appalling scene. The slaves being
smuggled are underneath a large tarp on the deck of the freighter. The captain of the ship, realising the consequences of his human cargo, decides to remove the evidence. The slaves are shackled to the anchor chain which is now released into the ocean. The fate of the slaves is sealed and the proof of the illegal cargo is removed. The matter is reported and from then until the end of the film, it is non stop action and intrigue. Dick Powell is the narcotics agent assigned to the task of tracking down the drug growers and dealers. It is a very involved film with lots of surprises (do not blink). A great twist at the end.
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