In 1980, following the mysterious death of Nugan Hand bank CEO, Frank Nugan, his New York-born business partner, Michael Hand, disappeared from a dank terrace in Sydney and hasn’t been seen since.


Author/filmmaker Peter Butt reinvestigates the notorious merchant bankers and their alleged links to drug traffickers, gun-running and the CIA.


In the process, he achieves what Interpol and the FBI failed to do. He uncovers Michael Hand’s new identity and traces the former CIA paramilitary officer-turned-rogue banker to a small town in the United States. You'll never guess what he's up to now! 


Purchase Merchants of Menace to find out. Available in print, print on demand and ebook.


Frank Nugan
Michael Hand

This project was kindly supported by the City of Sydney Historical Publication Sponsorship Program



'I just bought Merchants of Menace and it's incredible!'  

Ross Schneiderman, Newsweek bureau chief, Los Angeles


'Magnificent piece of research and told with riveting pace. It's the best book that I've read on the Nugan Hand scandal - and I've seen most of them.'  Alex Mitchell, Journalist

'Fantastically compelling read - pacy and jaw-dropping. What a Story!'

Alec Morgan, Filmmaker

What Readers Say



"These were no ordinary bankers. This was no ordinary bank."