Podcast – Mark Van Leewarden, author, and petrol head

In early 2018 I went on a Himalayan group motorcycle ride from Kathmandu in Nepal, through Lhasa in Tibet to the Mt Everest North Base Camp. It was an amazing ride on Royal Enfield Himalayan bikes, one that I’ll remember forever not only because of the unforgettable scenery but also for the friendships I made along the way, one of which is with my podcast guest, New Zealanders Mark Van Leewaden and his son Ben.

Since then, I’ve joined them on motorcycle rides through the Indian Kashmir Himalayan Region, and with their tour company Planet Chopper through the USA’s deep southern states and from the top to the bottom of New Zealand. All memorable rides and ones on which I have developed a long-lasting friendship.

Obviously on these types of adventures, you learn a bit about the people you ride with, as has been the case with Mark who on face value is one of the most layback unassuming people you could meet. I knew he had a love for customised motorcycles, desert car racing and certainly having a good time. I also knew he was a former Police officer turned Barrister whose company Warden Consulting specialise in international fraud investigation and recovery, and I was aware he was writing a book about his life.

What I wasn’t aware of until I read his recently released first book, “CRIMETIME – from undercover cop to international fraud investigator”, was what an incredible life he’s lived, from his early twenties as the double life of an undercover agent mixing with Auckland’s most hardened criminals to become New Zealand’s most successful international fraud investigators mixing with the likes of the Russian Mafia.

I hope you enjoy this Famous Last Words Podcast with Mark Van Leewarden, and if you want a great true life crime read, ‘CRIMETIME’ can be ordered at nationwidebooks.co.nz

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