#2092 - Mariana van Zeller

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Mariana van Zeller

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Mariana van Zeller is the host and executive producer of National Geographic's "Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller."www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/shows/trafficked-with-mariana-van-zeller

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She said the cartel was putting meth in the aderal but thats what it is aderal is an amphetamine

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Good to see you see my friend? How's things? Great. Thanks so much for having me again. I'm so happy every time I see you that you're alive and well. Because you do some wild stuff, lady. You get involved in some situations. I do. This this past year was crazy. Yeah. Yeah. We just had season four come out. And it's my favorite season for many reasons, but also because it was quite the adventure. What did you get involved with this season? Well, it ended with a military coup in Africa, where my team and I got stuck. Oh, good boy. So that was your trip to Africa? We're part of Africa. We kick off to all of it. It was in Niger, so it's in the Sahel region of Africa. The US has actually a military presence. Remember a few years ago when there were these four US Marines that were killed in the Sahel in Niger and nobody even knew they were there? There's actually over a thousand troop stations in Niger. And we were there in a little town called Agad\u00e9s, which is in sort of the southern border of the Sahara Desert. And we were doing a story about gold mining. So the story itself was incredible. We had to, you know, we had a military convoy with us because it's incredibly dangerous part of the world. You've got terrorism, you've got ISIS, al-Qaeda, Bukharram, you've got kidnappers, so it's very, very dangerous. We'd gone there with the permission of the government, but only if we had to have a military convoy with us all the time. So we're talking about four armored trucks with lots of trained soldiers that every time we stopped they'd get out of the trucks and basically point their guns all around. They were very well trained. A lot of them are actually trained by the American military. And we went out into the desert and visited these gold mines which are crazy. It was an eight hour off-roading into the desert to arrive at these illegal, unregulated mines. We're going down these tunnels and it's, you know, a hundred meters down, hand-dugged tunnels with nothing to buttress them, no safety precautions or anything, where we filmed it all and we get to the end and there's people basically mining for gold and and again constantly with the idea that [2:06] the military is telling us okay we have to film fast we have to do this fast we can't be out at night so we went to a sort of safety more safe location to sleep that night under the stars and then the next day it's time to come back to Agades the town which is about a hundred miles but takes anywhere between like three to twelve hours to get because you because lots of things can happen along the way. And we arrived in Agades, and we got worried that there had been a military coup, and the president had been deposed. And he was now being kidnapped inside the presidential palace. Basically, he was stuck there with his family, and that we were about to lose our military compounds and security, and they closed all the land borders and the airspace, and we were stuck with no way out, because you can't travel by road without security in that part of the world, and there were no planes leaving, so we were stuck. [3:03] Wow, how long you were stuck for? It was about nine days. The military who happened on a Wednesday and we left on a Thursday. Sorry, so eight days. But it was eight incredibly scary days. You know, I'm, I've been a journalist covering black markets and going to war zones and conflict areas all my life. But this was, I think, the most uncomfortable and scared I've ever been because, first of all, the uncertainty of not knowing, in the United States and Russia. And that's sort of low-as place you want to be, right? And again, no protection. I'm there with the United States. I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that I'm not going to let you know that And so as a power struggle between the United States and Russia, and that's sort of low ass place you want to be, right? And again, no protection. I'm there with my team. I'm sort of the boss in that situation because I'm the owner of the company that produces this. I'm the host of the show. I'm the executive producer. [4:01] And I felt very responsible for my team as well. And yeah, the clock is ticking, and they're telling us that in a few days we're going to invade, and there's gonna be a massive possibility of a massive war. And we're stuck with, again, no protection and no way out. So it was really, really scary. How did it get resolved? Huh. That's the interesting part. So the funny thing is that there was an American military base, actually one of the biggest air force bases ever built. Costs over $100 million to build, just two miles from our little hotel in Agades. We were the only foreigners there, apart from aid workers that sort of live behind barbed wire and in compounds. But we were the only foreigners staying in a hotel. This hotel, interestingly enough, was actually built when Kadafi came to visit in the 90s or late 80s. And it was a rundown hotel. We were there, again, no protection, nothing. And the military base is just two miles from us. And we tried to get inside the base to film, and we'd been denied access to the base. [5:04] But when the coup happened, we managed to get a contact inside and started asking them, we're here with no security. Can you guys come and help us and figure out, you know, take us into the base, something where all American citizens except for our fixer local guy who's actually from Mali, but everybody else was American. And they were stuck in the situation that all the other countries had started calling this a coup, but the US government did not. And because the moment they called it a coup, they would have to remove the military, possibly remove military, remove their aid from the country. And that's the last thing you want to do. So they couldn't, they didn't want to evacuate us. They didn't want to call it a coup. They didn't want to do. So they didn't want to evacuate us. They didn't want to call it a coup. They didn't want to take get us out of their hands. We're sort of tied. That's how they told us. And we started seeing slowly as a day started passing and the situation was deteriorating. We started seeing, you know, the French were taking, we're sending planes to take out all the French nationals, the British, the Portuguese, which is where I'm a double nationality where I'm from. And I'm on the phone with the ambassador for Portugal telling me there's a [6:08] plane for you. There's like seats for you in the capital, but the capital is eight hours away or 12 hours away by land. And we can't go because there's it's too dangerous. And no airplanes would take us there. And eventually we realized that the only way that we be able to get out is if we took matters into our own hands So actually my team in LA found an evacuation company willing to fly a plane in the middle of the night to get us out That sounds like a Chuck Norris movie. Oh It was it was It was actually our go. It was have you watched the movie our go with the enough like about the guys Oh It was, have you watched the movie, our go with the Naflaq about the guys? Oh, you're on the board. And how they don't know until the last minute, if they're going to leave or not, it was exactly that situation. So we get to the airport in the middle of the night. So they told us that we had to be at the airport at this time, that we had to take security with us, because the pilot was refusing to land unless we had security there, police. The police was supposed to show up, they never did. [7:06] We arrive at the airport, it's sunrise, and the military is there, waiting for us, yeah. It's one of those. And they start creating all sorts of problems saying we don't have the right paperwork. They're not going to let us leave. Meanwhile, there is this amazing man, local man, who worked at the airport that I'd met a few days before when I went there to try to see if there's any plane leaving let us know. And so I stayed in touch with him. And I had told him that it was my son's birthday, which was partially not sure it wasn't his birthday, but he was about to leave camp. And I got this tradition as a working mother who travels all the time. We have this tradition that I always pick him up from camp and it's performing arts camp. And so I told him, sorry, this is a very long story. No, no, it's good. So I told him, you know, it's so he was there to help us, but the military was also there and they didn't want us to leave and creating all sorts of problems. And then we see the plane land and we see the pilot come out and we see the military start walking towards [8:05] the pilot to tell them that we didn't have the permission to leave. And my fear was that the pilot was in me to be going to turn around because he had told us that we had 20 minutes. He was going to spend 20 minutes on the ground and if we couldn't get into the plane, he's going to leave without us. And they get there and he starts talking to them and I'm on the phone with a team in LA and freaking out and telling them, this is horrible, this is happening, they don't want us to leave. And then my husband's on the phone with me as well. He's telling me, I see the pilot's name and I think he's Portuguese. Run to him and I ran to him at the same time as a military and I started speaking to him in Portuguese and telling him the situation and that do whatever you can to get us out and the military can understand Portuguese. So there was a secret communication happening between me and him and he was Portuguese and he decided to take the risk of getting us on the plane and we managed to get out of it. But the guy from the military was still yelling as the door closes. But so was the guy that I'd met at the airport [9:03] who turns to me, yells my name and I look back and he says, hey, Marianna, say happy birthday to your son. So in the midst of the craziness, it was also a beautiful moment of connection and humanity. You've done so many of these boots on the ground, dangerous investigative journalist shows. Do you, at a certain point in time do you like say okay I've rolled the dice enough? No. No it's really it's what I love to do. Obviously that was a moment of a lot of uncertainty but still when we spent a week on the ground and we still kept on reporting on the story we were there for. We kept we stuck in the still limit we stay closed in our hotel or do we go out and continue reporting on the story We decided to keep reporting, but it is it is you know, there's a lot of sacrifice that goes into it, but I'm It's what I love to do. It's so sketchy. Yeah, sometimes sketchy Not always well the gold mine itself just going down these man with no buttresses [10:02] Hand-carved gold mines like oh yeah, and these guys do it every single day for hours on it. And who are they digging gold for? They sell it to middlemen. We then went and interviewed the middleman, a guy called Cleakley, super colorful character, who basically then sells it to the Gulf. The majority of the gold goes to Dubai. Really? Yeah. The bottom of that blank point of love that playing. I bet you love the point. I bet you love the point out there. Have you ever seen the amount of gold that exists on earth? No. The finite amount of gold that exists on earth is shockingly small. Shockingly small. James, here you can find that. The amount of gold that exists on earth. I forget what the exact unit of measurement that they used, but you go, what? That's it. 244,000 metric tons of gold has been discovered to date. Most of that gold has come from three countries, China, Australia, and South Africa. [11:03] Wow. Yeah. But if you, like, I've seen it represented there, there it is. That. Wow. Yeah, this is like a foot. But if you, like, I've seen it represented there, there it is. Yeah. That's it. That's the whole, yep. That's it. No way. Yep. That's it. It's all the gold. So if you, what we're seeing folks is a couple of large trucks and what looks like a half a football field of gold. Is that about right? But a half a football field? Yeah. I mean, this is... But a half a football field full of gold. And it's stacked up about, looks like it's about five feet high. Wow. Now, maybe a little higher, maybe a six feet high. That's it. Yeah. It's all the gold. Yeah, which is why the price fluctuates a little bit. Sort but I don't get it. I don't even like it. I don't like gold jewelry. I like silver. Silver looks prettier to me. Yeah, it's just like I get it. I get it that people like it. It's rare. But it's weird that it's rare. Not that it's rare, but it's weird that we care. Like it doesn't even do anything. It's not like you can make [12:01] a weapon out of it. It's not like, how did that stuff ever become the thing that is universally regarded as the most valuable in terms, and was backed our currency forever until the 70s? Yeah. What? Yeah. What is that? Why we obsessed with that stupid soft metal? It's pretty. Because there's not a lot of it. There's a lot of shit that's pretty. Yeah, absolutely. You know, how come rubies aren't worth as much? You know, maybe they are, I don't know. But like, there's a lot of stuff that's pretty. Why is that stuff the thing that everybody wants to trade? Yeah, and diamonds as well as another one that I don't quite get. Yeah, diamonds are really weird. Because diamonds they can make now. But women don't want the made ones. Not crazy. It is, but you can barely tell a palmy the difference. How can you tell? Yeah. What kind of psycho? And why do you care? Yeah, are you going over your diamond with a magnifying glass before you decide whether or not it's worthy of you wearing it? What's happening here? [13:01] Yeah, I agree. It's a rarity thing. Yeah. And it's also, there's something sick about it. You want the ones that are created by the Earth only, the people that have risked their life to get, not like some really fascinating piece of innovation that has allowed them to, I mean, they can make large diamonds now. Yeah. And they look exactly like the real ones. People that are not, but they're not. It's fake. It's not even fake. It's a real diamond, but it's a diamond that's made by humans. But do you think women really don't, I haven't heard like people really say, I don't want this because it's not. Oh yeah, I've had a conversation with somebody who said, Yeah, Mrs. Rogan. She's not going to criticize your wife. She's not, she's just like, I'd rather that real one. I'm like, that is a real one. Does this make any sense? I'm like, help me out. Just, what, wasn't an argument or anything, but I'm like, I don't get it. I don't, why is that? I don't know either. You know, we had a, when I was, one of the first stories I did with my husband back in the day when we were still traveling and reporting together. It was actually in the Brazilian Amazon and it was about this one of the biggest diamond [14:07] mines they've ever found. It was on an Indian land and white miners came in and the Indians decided to revolt and killed and tortured and cut off the penises of 30 of them. They killed 30 people, massacred and and tortured lots of them. It was horrible. We went there and started investigating this. We weren't married. He was my boyfriend at the time. We were planning on getting married. We had, we were in these little tiny, you know, Wild West towns in the Amazon, in the amount of people that we had come up to, wasn't actually with little paper bags, like rolled paper with little diamonds on the side asking us if we wanted to buy it for nothing, like close to nothing. We thought about it, but we did. Yeah, it just doesn't seem like you should. Maybe if you've found one. Well, we actually went to the mines and I remember, that's what happens. We went to gold mines in the Amazon as well for another story, [15:03] is that when you're in these places, you can't stop working the ground. You find a chance, you find anything, but obviously. Yeah, how difficult is it for them to find diamonds? Because that's the thing about the debiers. They're so smart with what they've done. They basically have warehouses filled with diamonds. And they've elevated the price to pretend that they're rare, but they're not really rare anymore. Because of their mining abilities, the technology's increased. They control the price that we went. Yeah, it's pretty smart. Very smart. Yeah. It's difficult to find a diamond. It's really difficult. I mean, there's a lot of back breaking work. We went to Sierra Leona and did another story about that too. It's backbreaking work. It's not easy. And they make nothing. You know, the miners make nothing. Yeah, that's where it's really creepy. Well, that's why they revolted. So, we paid those guys, period. We wouldn't lost your penis. Sure. Well, that's also the story of cell phones, right? I mean that's the North Kara that was on and he discussed his work in the Congo [16:07] where they were investigating these cobalt mines and in everyone's cell phone is a piece of cobalt and there's a very high likelihood that was pulled out of one of these artesian minds by people who are working for basically slave wages. They're women with babies on their backs while they're doing it, they're hand digging this stuff so you're inhaling these toxic fumes from this cobalt. Yeah, that's... It's so... I mean, I want to say that we're capable of better, but what we are as a species, that is like one of the best indicators of how twisted we are. The very height of technology that is carried by all these social justice warriors and all these virtue signaling people online, you're literally doing it from a device that's made by slaves. [17:00] At the root of it is slave labor. And it's unavoidable. Yeah, I mean, yeah. But the same people that were probably never by a diamond ring, right? Yeah. I guess, I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's just weird. It's just weird that we know that that is where the stuff comes from. Well, it's also weird that we don't even manufacture a single cell phone in America with all parts sourced and put together in America. That's totally possible. You could buy a phone that is completely ethical that's made by people that were paid a fair wage and they, you know, worked normal hours and they have great health care and all that stuff. That's possible. And you would think that a device that is literally owned by every single human, there are more cell phones in this country than there are human beings. And yet, no, we don't make a single one over here because it's cheaper. Because it's my own cell. [18:01] It's cheaper. I mean, even places like China where they make the cell phones where they have the Foxconn factory that's covered with nets To keep people from jumping off the roof because so many people are committing suicide because their life sucks so hard That instead of fixing their life they just put nets up That's insane. Have you ever seen that the Foxconn building? No, it's so dystopian really they have nets at the bottom building? All around the building. All around the outside edge of the building to keep people from jumping. That's crazy. That is insane. I've tried to go to China so many times to report on it's almost impossible to get in. Yeah they know you. That lady's not coming. She's not coming. That lady spills the beans. Yeah. Congo is really interesting. We were there for an ape story. Yeah, Congolese is really interesting. We were there for an ape story. And you know, one of the things that happened with rare earth minerals and all of that is that the US used to control a lot of those minds. I mean, China, they sold them to China. Now a lot of the stuff we need for the future is in the hands of China. It's so stupid. [19:01] That's very American. Very American. Yeah, very. Yeah. Yeah, it's dark. And it's just crazy that there's so much exploitation in that country. That continent is just flooded with exploitation. And it's stunningly beautiful. We were doing a story about ape trafficking. And it really is. It's the second largest country in African terms of land and it's got the most beautiful parks and rivers is stunning. It could be, you know, a huge tourism destination. We had the opportunity of hiking up this Kahuzi Vyaga National Park that leads up to the gorillas where we saw gorillas in the wild and it was beautiful, beautiful, stunningly beautiful. Who's trafficking in apes? Well, a lot of them are ending up in the Arabian Gulf in Dubai, again. What do they do with them? They put them in private zoos, but they've been then charged visitors to come and see. They put them in private homes, people [20:02] that want to have exotic pets in their house. So when does a gorilla in their house? Oh, they do. Gorillas go for $500,000 or more. Wow. And it's crazy gorilla that they catch in the world. And the sad part about it is that to be able to catch that gorilla, they then, and the same thing with chimpanzees, they have to kill the whole family because, you know, they're very social. And Baby, it's being stolen for pets. The rule is being done to stop it. 550,000 dollars of trade. Ben for Asian, African-Greek, AIDS, and China, Middle East, and Pakistan. It's on, yeah. Wow. So they have to kill the whole family? They kill the whole family, Joe. It's horrible. And the seventh. Why do they have to kill the whole family? Because, for example, if baby chimps, you can't carry your lifechimp, for example, because they're too dangerous. And so it's the Batua pigmies. We spoke, we did the whole chain of who hunts them, who kills them, who transports them, and then who buys them. And we started in the park with the Batua pigmies. [21:01] You had a guest that I remember when I was doing research for the story I listened to. Didn't you have a guest here who talked, yeah, who did the story of that? Yeah. The pigmies, you know, they've sort of lost their home, which is the forest, the Congolese government says they can't be there and they have no money and no schools and no education and nothing, just for situations. So these people come out and say, if you get as a baby chimp, we'll pay you $10. $10 for a baby chimp. And they go out and the problem with baby chimp is that until they're five years old, they live at the hip of the mother, like always next to the mother. It's the way their family is. And so, unable to be able to take and kidnap the child, they have to kill the whole family because the estimate the average is like 10 chimps have to be killed in order to be able to take away one baby. Because they'll attack? Because they'll attack, yeah. They won't let you leave with a baby. Yeah, it's very, very signed. So we're talking to these guys who have done this. [22:03] How much of a market is there? How many are they trading? There's lots, lots being sold. So we then went online and did this whole investigation and found that it's actually super easy. There are people online that you can reach out to when they will get you a chimpanzee or baby gorilla. It's crazy. And then they're transported in sometimes private planes to these places. And then tourists can take photos with little baby chimps. Or baby gorillas. I'm sure you know about that lady in Connecticut that had a full-grown chimpanzee in her home. And then her friend came over and the chimps decided it didn't like her friends, so he ripped her face off. Just tore apart. Yeah. Yeah. They're ruthless Just tore apart. Yeah. Yeah. They're ruthless. They are. Yeah. I shouldn't have one in your home. Yeah. For sure. And you're not going to stop them unless you shoot them. They're so powerful. There's not a damn thing you could do to stop them from ripping your face off. Yeah. It's the duck antel of it all, you know. Remember dock handle, Tiger King? Remember that guy? Yeah. [23:06] A lot of them, it's basically people around the world wanting to be docked and having like a private safari that celebrities come to. What a bizarre need. What bizarre want. Have a bunch of locked up, exotic primates, encages you to stare at. But also what a bizarre need it is that we want to take photos on selfies with tigers and apes like why? I went to a tiger sanctuary in Thailand with my family a few years back and the beginning is kind of cool because the beginning you're around the kittens and the cubs are like super energetic and they're jumping around and attacking things. These little tiny tigers, they're really cool, but it's just like wow, and there's a lot of people in the room with them, make sure that the tigers don't go crazy and they're little. And then it gets to a slightly larger tiger and there's men with sticks and you could sit there. There's like a [24:01] picture of my daughter when she was 10. She's like, so there's smiling, she's like next to a tiger. A small tiger, it's like 40 pounds or something like that. Then when they get bigger, they're drugged. So these people go in the cage with this massive tiger in the tiger, it's like, yeah, they just all fucking heroined out and these people take selfies and it was so sad. I'm like, we have to leave. I'm so depressed. Do you remember the name of that place? I do not. Because it was in Chiang Mai. Yeah, yeah, it's really sad and the babies are also taken from their mothers. You're not supposed to be handling baby cubs that young Yes, exactly. It's all bad. And but it's just like I didn't realize they were drugged. I thought they just fed them a lot and the tigers are cool Nope. No, no, they're drugged. They're really drugged. Like you see them there, just like not. They don't move at all, they just lay around. So they just get these tigers hooked on heroin. Is it heroin? I mean, it must be. It must be some sort of an opiate. [25:00] Something like that, morphine something, something that just conquers them out. So they were just sitting there like nodding. And these is massive, gorgeous apex predator. And it's all just so that people could take pictures with them. And so you decided to leave? Yeah, like when I go in there. I got weirded out when we got to the mid-size cats. Because I was like, that cat is a little dangerous. Even though it's only 40 pounds, They're still a little sketchy like this is a little weird and I went in there and I was like it seems like it's okay Let's just take a picture real quick. Let's get out here But then when you get to the big cats, it's like massive depression sets and you like oh, no I'm just Enammered with cats especially tigers. I just think Nature created like the most beautiful, terrifying thing. I mean, if a tiger wasn't real, it's right out of avatar. I mean, with their insane colorations and their fangs and the way they can leap, their capabilities, [26:01] I'm sure you've seen that video of the guy who's on the elephant and the tiger leaps through the grass and Get some while he's on the you ever seen that yeah, oh, it's one of my favorites because this guy is in India and he's on this Elephant and he's riding this elephant and you see the grass move ahead of him and this tiger leaps like 15 feet in the air and Slashes at this guy and he's just lucky lucky he got out of it with just getting cut up. Watch this. So the guy's on the elephant, look at this cat. Oh my God. Look how it leaps. I mean, look at the size of this thing. But watch out and he's like, all these guys are like a little stick. Oh my God. He's like, stop, don't do this to me. Don't do this to me. Don't do it. Look at that thing, just catch air. Look at it catch air. Like, oh my God, it just flies out. Holy shit. And swipes and just ripped his arm apart. That is insane. I'm just sure it's the end of it, his arms are half dead. That is insane. [27:00] Oh my God. Oh. Such a terrifying creature. That scares me to death. When people always ask, what if I'm scared of the work that I do meeting? I'm much more scared of animals than I am of people. Well, there's a place in India called the Sundar Bands. And the problem with that area is that tigers have been actively targeting people there for over 100 years. And so I think the number is over the last 100 years, 300,000 people there have been killed by tigers. Oh my, that is insane. Yeah. People that just live there and work, probably farmers that are working for our own civilians. Well, there's a bunch of things that happens. One, the typhoons come in and people die and they drown and they wind up in the river and the tigers eat them. And then two, there's an issue. 300 people and 46 tigers have been killed since 2000 in human tiger conflicts and the Sundar bands. They've done a lot to mitigate it. That's only one of the last, that's since 2000. [28:01] That's over the last 23 years. It used to be a lot worse. Also, the problem is that the water is brackish. The tigers are drinking salt water and apparently it irritates them. It's like very painful. You've got these angry, pissed off tigers that actively hunt humans. These guys that go out to try to survey, they were always trying to figure out how many tigers are there. They have to wear these helmets that protect the back of their heads, and the helmet have a mask on the back of the head. So that the tigers like to sneak up on you. And if they see your face, they're less likely to attack. They like to attack you when your back is turned. So these helmets with a mask on the back to confuse the tigers. And what are they doing to try and protect the villagers now? Guns, that's it. And what are they going to do? There's so many of them. I mean, it's where they live. And it's like a dense jungle. So it could look fine in all of them. [29:00] That's so crazy. We did a story on tiger trafficking in season one, I think. And we spent the night in Thailand and one of these jungles were last remaining tigers in Thailand are, and I mean, we were camping out with hammocks, and I didn't sleep at all because we'd been spending the day, they're showing us videos of the camera, the little cameras that they have activated all throughout the park, the jungle so that when they step on it, it activates right so you see the tigers in the wild and they're beautiful. But then you have to sleep. But like that, I didn't sleep at all. It was the worst night of my life. Yeah. Yeah. God. This is an amazing animal though. I mean, it's fascinating and incredible that they exist but this desire that people have to kidnap them and bring them to America and put them in a cage so they could just point to them and stare at them. It's crazy. Weird. Yeah. It's really weird. Yeah. It is very strange. Yeah. People again, but people that go to these places as well to take photos. [30:01] I don't get it. What else did you cover this season? This season was a good one. We started the first episode. We went back to my hometown, Portugal. We did an episode on hash, hash trafficking. It's the most Americans don't know a lot about hash, actually. But most Americans, you don't know. But it's the first drug that people in Europe usually try. It's the marijuana of your upwood say or the most of the world actually. Well it is, T.H.C. It is, yeah. It's from the resin glands. Yeah, it's a super, super duper potent. Super potent, yeah. So it's the first drug I tried and the first drug that any of my friends and Portugal tried. And you know, back then when I was a kid and trying to hash for the first time, I always sort of wondered where does this come from and we knew that it was Morocco. Everybody knows that the majority of the hash in the world comes from Morocco. But now I thought, wow, the unique opportunity to actually go and try to figure out how [31:01] it gets here. And so we started in Portugal, and I reached out to a bunch of my girlfriends in Portugal and said, hey, let's meet at this time in the rocks where we used to hang out and hide and smoke cash. And we'll film a scene of us talking about while we're smoking. So I actually smoked on camera for the first time, did drugs on camera. In Portugal, it's all decriminalized. Yeah, it's been decriminalized since 2001. So completely legal to do. And it's an amazing success story. Amazing success story. Terrors of addiction, crime, violence, everything like that. HIV rates, incarceration, all of it. Yeah, so what they did is yeah, they decriminalize it. So you can use, if you're caught using any drug, even hard drugs, nothing happens to you. But you're not allowed to traffic or sell it. But if you're caught, they basically give you the option. If you're caught smoking or doing heroin, they'll ask you, you know, instead of they realize that they will pay much more by putting somebody in prison that they will by actually giving [32:01] them treatments. So if they see that you're using heroin, they'll go up to you and say, look, we'll give you the opportunity, do you want to go to prison or do you want to go to treatment? The vast majority of people will say treatment. And the government actually pays less for treatment than they do for incarceration. So it's wild. It's wild. And you'd think that people would have used this example and it would have spread around the world. Well, the problem with America is the system is it's so deeply in just that there's privatized prisons. And there's union guards. So the guards union, the prison guards union actively campaigned to stop drugs from being decriminalized and made legal, because that would take them out of work. Right. And the private prison complex, yeah. Yeah. It's a business. It is. They use human beings as batteries to generate money. Yeah. Just put them inside this box and you can generate money with human beings. So you find reasons to put them in. [33:02] I'm sure you heard about that. There was a judge in Pennsylvania that got arrested because he was sending children to prison. He was sending children to juvenile detention centers. So we're innocent. And he just like every kid that went through his court system, he just shipped away. He got a kickback. Yeah. Yeah. So this guy, how many lives did he ruin? Who knows? And how many lives that he ruined? Yeah. Who knows? And how many lives did they ruin because of the abuse that they suffered and were wound up having this tortured existence and they went out and committed more crimes and ruined more lives and it's one fucking judge. Yeah, it's sick. And it's the wrong people that end up going to prison. Well, that guy, unfortunately, did go to prison to judge. But how many similar situations are there out there? How many people have not been caught? How many people more subtle about it? Yeah. Yeah, it's pretty twisted. It's horrible. It's really bad. So this, when they go and they kidnap these chimpanzees [34:01] and kill their families, is there anything that's being done to stop this? Is there other organizations that go out in police? Is there anything? Yeah, there's definitely a bunch of organizations. We spent time with one called Conservative Congo, a local Congolese man who's trying to sort of investigate and stop it. We also spent one of the best days of filming was spent when we went to see the gorillas. We spent time with these park rangers. This guy, who's incredible, who's basically devoted his life to trying to protect these gorillas. So they go out with AK-47s every day up in the mountains and go up and spend time with this family or these families of gorillas to try and make sure that no one is coming and hurting them. But it's really dangerous work. It takes resources. The hope is that they can sort of turn a little bit of this area of the Congo to what has Rwanda nowadays. You can go to Rwanda and you can go to Uganda and see gorillas. And as tourists you pay, you can pay a lot of money, but it provides jobs that helps [35:04] the local economy. So it basically the idea is that you dissuade poachers from coming in, right? And you give up jobs to people who would otherwise perhaps become poachers. And so yeah, that's being done. And yeah, it was actually incredible when you we spent I don't like three hours hiking through very thick jungle. And then suddenly, and you're seeing the signs that the gorillas are there. You're seeing they, you know, their poop is there. They nested here and he's telling us along the way, but you're still unsure if we're actually going to see a gorilla. And suddenly, they're completely nonchalantly saying, oh, it's right here. And I was like, what? And this is huge silverback gorilla just standing there. And the whole family is there. They had had a baby. The mother had had a baby just a week before. And this is animals that are being pushed to the brink of extinction. So it was really special. It was a week of celebration at the park. [36:01] And we saw the little baby. And there was a moment that we're filming and my producer and my team is like next to me and another huge gorilla comes jumping brushes right by them. So they don't bother people at all? No, so I think that they have to become used to the presence of humans. So a lot of the park rangers job is actually to get them, to get used to presence with the hope that they can bring in tourism. So I think that's part of what they do. So this family of gorillas was used to people and they don't bother you at all. And we were this distance from the gorilla, me to you. And I was just looking at you. Contrary the traffickers coming from. Most of them, the hunters are from the Congo. They're the pigmies, the Batropigmies. The middlemen are Congolese men that see an opportunity. And then the buyers, which is the brawl problem, always lies on demand, right, are from the Gulf countries, the majority of them. But it's not very different from all the other trades [37:00] and the tigers that you can see at Dawk Hanzel's facility. And all the other. So we blame ourselves as well here. Yeah, I guess. People are so weird. So weird and cruel. So weird. Wait, you talked about hash for a second. You've tried hash, yeah. Yep. And? It's great. Yeah. Oh, I get it. It is stronger than weed. Well, it's just concentrated. It's like a high THC, it's resin. And if you saw how it's made, it's incredible. We went up to the Keef Mountains in Morocco. Basically, it's these farmers. They beat these drums so that the resin and the little seeds come out and then they mix it all into like this paste. And yeah, it's actually a beautiful process, very dangerous because obviously when there's a lot of money in black markets. Yeah, what do they do with the rest of the plant, the leaves and all that stuff? I think they don't use it. It was just there. They try the whole plant and the leaves and then, yeah, it's this like grumb process where [38:05] the stuff they want falls to the bottom and then. I wonder why some countries gravitated towards that method of using cannabis and not just smoking it like doing most of the country. Most of the world. Yeah and I wonder what came first I don't know either. Yeah. But I'd probably think that hash came first and then really? The Americans came up with read. I'm not sure. I don't know. I bet it was the opposite. I bet weed came first. It's a strange thing that it's still illegal. It's so many parts of the world and then fentanyl isn't heroin isn't or opines aren't. Yeah, oxycatin. Yeah. Yep. I know. It's wild. Yeah. Well, I mean, unfortunately because of our prison industrial complex, I just don't see a mass decriminalization akin to what's happening in Portugal. [39:00] Despite of what's going on on our southern border and the defense and trafficking and the fact that it's propping up These cartels and they're worth billions and billions of dollars They are and they're mixing it and also types of drugs as you know We're working on an episode on fentanyl. We've done the holopiate crisis on everything But smoking did not become common in old world until after the introduction of tobacco in the 1500s hashish was consumed as an edible in the Muslim world interesting though the first yeah first attestation of the term hashish is a pamphlet published in Cairo in 1123 current era accusing Nazari Muslims of being Hashish eaters. The cult of Nazari militants which emerged after the fall of the Fatimid caliphate is commonly called the sect of the assassins. A corruption of Hashishin, Persian for Hashish smokers. Wow. So assassins, a corruption of the order of the Sassans, simply the [40:07] assessor Nizari. Is that the original term of assassin? Is that where it came from? I don't know. See, I mean, this might take a little more. Yeah, how weird. Huh. I mean, that would be like a... The modern term assassination is believed to stem from the tactics used by the assassins. Oh wow. Wow. So it's all about hash. Assassin comes from hash. That's nuts. We did an episode on assassins this season as well. Oh really? Yeah, that was a lot of time. I liked it. I was in the same... It's big. I mean, obviously, I said, it's a subject matter that I've wanted to do for a long time. It's almost an impossible one to do for many reasons as you could imagine. But we actually found all started with an interview that we did with an assassin in LA. Yeah. About 15 minutes for my house in LA. And we have a contact in LA that whenever we're looking at [41:08] and the black markets, we contact him and ask him, hey, do you know anyone who's basically making meth or drugs or guns or whatnot? And in the off chance that he knew an assassin, we contacted him and he said he actually did. He knew a guy, he didn't think he was going to talk to us, but maybe he did because he was close to him and eventually this guy agreed to talk to us and we met him in the corner and as we're driving there, so we're driving there with our local contact, is taking us to meet this guy and he told us, hey, be very careful. This guy is like the way he said it is like he's bipolar, kind of, like he acts as if he's bipolar one moment, he's happy in the next, he can just freak out and nobody knows why. He's really hard, difficult to deal with and I asked him, are you sure he's an assassin or is it possible that he's just boasting that happened sometimes? And he said, no, no, no, I've seen this guy being offered $80,000 to go and kill someone. [42:05] And I know this is what he does. Everybody knows this guy in his community and his group. So he operates in America? He does. Yeah, I asked him where. He's based in LA, but he says it's all over the United States mainly. And he, yeah, he's just as soon as I met him, he took out his gun and he said, you guys, if this is a fucking setup, you guys are all, it's gonna be really easy to kill you all right now. And it was me and three or four other people. And my fear, we told him we're not a set up. So I just came here because I trust my buddy, but you know, you don't fuck me. If the police shows up, you guys are all dead. So we're in a corner of LA, close to downtown. And I'm constantly looking at the end of the road thinking if the police shows up for any reason, right? He's going to think it's us. Yeah. And this is not good. So yeah, it was a quick interview, but chilling one. How many people is this guy whacked? He said more than 10. [43:05] He didn't say exactly how many. I asked him. I also started asking him personal questions about you have a family because he was saying he doesn't kill women or children. I asked him, but do you have kids? And do you realize what would it be for your kids to live without you, if you're doing the same to other kids, right? He got really mad at my questions and said, don't fucking ask me emotional questions, something like that, personal questions. And this interview is over and left. What was his background? He said he came from a really tough family and that, yeah, involved in drugs and guns and all of it. And he, I think, realized early on that he could do this. And a lot of other people can't. And he was able to do it and he gets well paid and he does it. How's one even applied to a job? Yeah. And you, I mean, that was my fear when we started looking into this story because it's a little bit of a Hollywood myth, right? You think, like, most of that is bullshit. So that was my fear, but I do trust this contact and we actually then ended up going to South Africa [44:11] that has one of the highest assassination rates in the world and spent time with a bunch of different inkabbie, which are as they are called in South Africa. And that was fucking crazy as well. So he spent time with one, his name JoJo young guy and his story is insane And that that he was a lot nicer a lot more approachable but has killed like over 30 people and and gets paid a thousand five hundred dollars per hit and You know thousands of people have died in just the past few years at the hands of assassins in South Africa Mm-hmm And a lot of it it happens in the taxi industry. So there's like 70% I think of commuters in South Africa commute on these taxis. Basically it's like these vans. And they're worth a lot of money and it's sort of a cash business. And the owners of these taxi companies are routinely being killed. [45:03] So we spend time with the taxi owner, who owns one of these companies. And he had a bullet from AK-47 on his head that he showed us. It was a $1 million prize for anyone who killed him. And this is a crazy guy. And his rivals were just across the street with all their taxis, the other company, that he says are trying to kill him. So he's surrounded by bodyguards with AK-47 at all time. And he was like, do you want to go across the street with me and fill me as I get close to the other guys and see what happens? Like sure. So we start walking towards the rivals. And immediately there's a group of heavily armed men walking towards us. Immediately, within like seconds. And this happens every day, like people are killed every day. So yeah, and then back to the assassin. And they don't have a hard time talking to about this. I would think that there's no upside to them discussing this with you, but potentially they could get caught. Yeah, we go through a lot of, you know, [46:05] to make sure that we protect their identities. But I think JoJo, this assassin, is a good example of why they talked to us. So we spent an hour and a half more or less two hours talking to him. And he tells us the story of how he became an assassin. His parents were killed when he was young, he was nine years old or something. He felt like he was left with no protection. He started carrying a knife. And his parents were killed by an assassin, by the way, as well. And then eventually he got involved in the drug business and then eventually people were paying him to go out, paying him much more money to go out and kill. And he says, yeah, at the beginning I had to get drugged and drunk to be able to do it, but now I'm used to it. I'm cold-blooded and I'm used to it. And we started talking about the cycle of violence, right? Because he also said he doesn't kill women and children. And I asked him, but do you realize that you are traumatized from the experience that you had, that your parents were killed? And now you're doing the same thing to other kids. He's like, I actually never thought of that. And then he started talking about he really wants to quit and he's been thinking but he doesn't have, he can't get a job and all of that. So I think [47:09] people talk to us for a variety of reasons. I think there's a lot of boasting, a lot of people that want to just talk about what they do. Sometimes their families don't even know they do what they do. I think in places like Sina Loa where I've spent a lot of time with a cartel, it's impunity, they don't see it downside because the authorities aren't really going to do anything, even if they know who they are. And I feel safe in a place like that. Actually, I see it's I sometimes feel in certain countries safer in Sina Loa, for example, if you are, if you've been given the green light to go into the cartel, the territory controlled by the cartel, to talk to cartel members, and it takes weeks, months, sometimes years to get that access. Once we're under their protection, we're under their protection. Like, we have their protection to be there. [48:02] But, you know, certain things happen. Like, we were filming in Sinaloa once and we're filming these cicareas and they had their walkie talkies. And so they're communicating with the whole group and they know everybody that comes in and out of their territory and suddenly they started panicking because the Marines had a helicopter coming their way. And the Marines in Mexico are known to shoot first and ask questions after. And they started freaking out and they basically jumped into the cars and left us. And we didn't know what to do. Should we go after them and they're going to think we're part of the group and they can start shooting at us or should we stay behind. But we were in an open area in the sort of forested area. Should we try to hide? And then we're gonna really look suspicious. So it was crazy. What did you do? We got in a car and followed them and then spent the day with them doing cocaine all day because it wasn't safe for us to leave until the night. So they just do cocaine all the time? They do a lot of cocaine. And funny story, my director of photography, Fred Manu, [49:03] who was a director of photography for Bourdain on parts and known before. And he got, we were filming the scene and we driven into the Sierra Madre mountains and then we had to walk for a mile or two to a place where they felt comfortable showing as they were guns and they were going to start shooting and they were giving us the interview of what, it was the story about the American guns flowing down south and how they're used in the violence. And he were walking there and suddenly Fred basically turns, says, I don't feel good. And he had a massive case of what is it that you call it, the revenge? Oh, monogamous revenge. Massive case. And so we walked to the place, Fred's on the floor. They managed to put like some sort of cloth on the floor for him. He's like walk on the floor. Can barely breathe is like puking and going to the bathroom and all of it is happening at the same time. And the guy is constantly offering him cocaine. [50:02] I'm telling him to. This will fix your boyfriend. You have no idea. Do this. I am telling you. Fred did not take the cocaine. Would the cocaine have helped him, you think? He was absolutely sure the cocaine would have helped him. I don't know. What if it did? Fantastic cure. What else does the cocaine read? Oh no. Well these guys are probably getting pure cocaine. Oh, yeah, I'm sure. Yeah, why would they cut it and they're snorting it all day long Oh my god, and then it wasn't it wasn't actually a very good idea for us to stay with them for so long It was a learning lesson for all of us because that night we were filming with them in a bunker where they kept a lot of their guns and And one of them had been snorting cocaine all day and And one of them had been starting cocaine all day and basically pulled the trigger on the floor. And the bullet came out just like two inches from Fred's head because he was in the bunker right in that hole. And it could have been really bad. Oh, Jesus. Yeah. So, co-opted up sick areas. Don't say that. Don't say that. [51:00] In Mexico. Oh my goodness. Yeah. And how often are those guys killing people? Oh, very often. They also told us all. So they're not considered assassins per se. They're secarious. They're hitmen, right? Because they're not. It's part of what they do for the cartel amongst many other things, like transporting drugs and guns and all of it. But yeah, a lot of people. And also told me this story, you have the first person he ever killed and he was ordered to kill and it was a friend of his. He went to his house and knocked on the door and the guy opens the door and he shoots him and the guy is yelling, don't kill me, don't kill me, shoot him right in the face. Oh boy. Yeah, terrible. And that's all what happens when you make drugs illegal because then the criminals are selling them. Yeah. So that we can consume them. Yeah. Let's not forget. Yeah. It's dirty. Yeah. It does dirty. It's, and I don't, you know, I've had conversations with people about this. Like, what is the solution in America? Because if you legalize drugs, all drugs in America, insult them. [52:04] Like if pharmaceutical drug companies sold heroin, cocaine, all that. I don't want the pharmaceutical companies involved in that. Right. Like who sells it? If it's not them. Yeah. So either the cartel sells it or they sell it. Or no one can sell it. Well, that's not going to be the case. Someone's going to sell it. And if you make it legal, you're going gonna have more people doing it. Like we're not accustomed to things being legal. If you made cocaine legal in this country, a bunch of people would try it, they wouldn't ordinarily try it. Because they wouldn't know who to get it from, they wouldn't know how to do it. If you could just walk into Walgreens and buy cocaine. I guarantee you, we'll have more overdoses, more addicts, more. But what is the solution to that? Is it education? Does that even work? Is it counseling? Is it drug rehabilitation centers everywhere? Is it eye-bagane? Like what's the solution to? Yeah, I don't know, but I think looking at the example of Portugal is a good idea. Yeah, but we're not Portugal. [53:01] The problem is like what we talked about like prison guard unions, privatized prisons, the state of the the policing in this country in the way it's done and the amount of people that are in jail in this country is so insane. Yeah, yeah, there's no easy answer which is why we haven't no one has tried to solve this. And then this is bizarre trend to let people out that have committed violent crimes in this country. It's almost like someone's engineering the deterioration of the country and ensuring civil unrest. So they're keeping the people that for minor crimes that shouldn't be there, like the guy selling weed on the corner? Well, they don't even keep them anymore now. No, I mean, it's like Los Angeles in particular It's just nuts. It's just nuts. They have these district attorneys that are funded by George Soros and they put them in and these people they're their mandate is to let as many people out as possible and [54:01] Violent crime whatever it is no cash bail, they're just letting people out. And they're letting people out of prison, that are violent prisoners. What's the idea behind that? That the prison system's unjust. That's the narrative. But the end result is people are unsafe. Because you've already created this environment with prisons and with a lifetime of crime, these people are habitualized, they're're criminals and then they've committed violent crimes and then you let them right back out on the street Yeah, it's it's wrong. I don't know enough about it But I do think that we tend to look at the problem the other way around I think that we tend to look at how to Try to stop the problem when it's already a problem without actually tackling the root causes of the risk happening and why it's happening. Yeah, we've talked about that many times in this podcast. If you wanted to solve the root cause, you would clean up in inner cities. That's what you would do. You'd take these crime-ridden, drug-ridden, gang-infested, and you'd invest in a massive amount of money [55:06] and resources into fixing and rehabilitating them. And the money that we have spent just in the Ukraine war could have done that many times over in this country, and they've not lifted a finger to stop it. It's almost like there's a formula to ensure control and power and you need a certain amount of crime and violence. You need a certain amount of people in prison. You need a certain amount of despair in the inner cities to ensure that people don't rise up and figure out the system and realize they've been screwed over. Yeah, also talking about security helps a lot of politicians, right? Oh yeah. They have something that they're going to do to make it better. Both of those things are true. Yeah. Yeah. Prop up the problem so you can offer you as the solution. Yeah. But even outside of the last, I mean these black markets, you know, so much of it, the lesson for me has always been when reporting on these black markets, it's all about inequality, [56:02] right? Your choices are only as good as the opportunities you're given. If you don't have those opportunities, you're going to become, you know, first like a watcher for the cartel, or then eventually claim the ladder and become a secario. 100%. The only job you have available for you. Yeah, what else are you going to do? And again, if you're living in the Congo and you're in the area where they're mining cobalt, what are you going to do? Yeah. You're going to start your own business. What are you going to do? Right. And if your family doesn't have anything on the table to eat, and they offer you $10, which will feed your family for a week to go and kill the chimp, you're going to go and kill and jump. Exactly. Yeah. That's the biggest problem. So what else did you investigate? How many episodes did you do this year? 10. 8 are now one. Hulu, two more coming soon. But another one, cartel involvement, is about fake pharmaceutical pills. [57:00] That's really interesting. We spent time with a group called Launion in Mexico City where 80% of their job of their money right now comes from fake pharmaceutical pills. And yeah, I mean, they're making these pills. And then we went to India as well, which is another source of pharmaceutical pills. You have like 40,000 online pharmacies that you can go to and buy prescription drugs without a prescription. So a lot of Americans are doing that because it's much cheaper. I think it's something like 20 million Americans are using the black market for their bills, for their drugs because they can't afford them here, which is crazy. 20 million. It's crazy. And people that can't afford, that need these medications to survive and they can't afford them here because we have the highest drug prices in the entire world. And so when you say fake, is it, it's not manufactured by Pfizer or whatever, but is it the same components? It looks exactly the same, but a lot of these pills don't actually have any active ingredients. So we spend time with a guy making 20,000 pills a night out of this little, you know, back [58:01] house with a machine, a pill, a pill presser. And he was just calcium and food dye to make it look the color, whatever color he wanted. And he was selling it as a moxicillin, and very likely ending up in American homes, because they ship it all around the world. Wow. And in that case, the good luck of the buyer is that it was just calcium. But in many cases, it gets mixed with cement and rat poison and all sorts of things. They don't give a fuck. They don't give a fuck. And even worse is the cartel in Mexico we found out. There's a great LA Times investigation on this. And then we started doing our own investigation. But they're mixing these drugs with fentanyl and meth. So I think it was something like 70% of the drugs that they bought and tested had actually had meth and fentanyl and Americans were crossing the border into Mexico to buy these drugs and then dying. It's insane. But it's all, again, it's like easy for us to blame the cartel [59:02] and other people for doing this, but it's all our fault. It's the broken system that we have in our country. Why are we paying, you know, this woman that we filmed with, she was paying $700 for this medication that she needs and she couldn't afford it. Her health insurance was encountering it. So she would go across the border and pay $60 for it in Mexico, of course. Is any of it the real medication? Yeah, some of it is. Is there a way to tell? And there are real pharmacies, but what we... So some of the real pharmacies have fake drugs? So that's what's so interesting is that even pharmacies that are real, they are completely authentic and legitimate and that there's a town that we film that called Algodones, for example, that's on the other side of the Arizona border. That is, there has more hospitals and orthodontists and uptished up to Tishren. So how do you say the glass of the... Optometrist. Optometrist, but then you're else in the world. It's basically you drive around and it's like doctor's office, pharmacy, optometrist, all of it. [1:00:02] And it's all catering to Americans, right? And so the last numbers of Americans come every year and buy their drugs there. And there are pharmacies that are chained pharmacies that look there could be a CVS, but in Mexico. It's not a CVS, but it could be sort of a brand name that you recognize in Mexico. But what we did with the cartel is we were trying to figure out how they get their medications in these shelves. And we filmed one cartel member. He allowed us to film. We couldn't go inside, but I had him. He had a mic, so I was able to listen to everything from the car. He goes into a pharmacy and basically tells the woman there, like this. And the meds, we saw them making them. They look exactly like the real thing, the packaging, everything. Some of it actually comes from the legitimate places that they steal from the factories, like the packaging and all of it. But they basically tell them, okay, you put this on your shelves and if you don't, we're going to burn your pharmacy. So we heard that, we saw that. And so a lot of them are forced to carry them. And they're forced to carry fruit drugs. Yeah. And do they have any idea what's in them when they're selling them or they're just... I don't think they do. No. [1:01:05] I doubt that they knew, for example, there was fentanyl in meth mixed in with some of their other medications because that creates a huge problem for them. And so for the consumer, how do they find the legitimate stuff? They don't, which is why it's so hard. So this woman that we followed, she goes there, she buys her medication. And I asked her, do you know what's in there? Oh no, but it's my friend told me that it's a legitimate pharmacy. Of course, she has no idea that this is happening, that the cartel is actually threatening them to death if they don't stalk their shelves with their pharmaceuticals. Did you take any of that stuff and test it? We did. It's a lot more complicated than it seems. The LA Times, again, did an amazing investigation where they did test it. And again, I think it was something like seven or eight out of their 10 that they tested head fentanyl and meth, which was crazy, out of two pharmacies, I think. And what kind of drugs are they talking about that have fentanyl and meth? Oh, I can't remember, but it was, I think it was Adderall maybe. [1:02:01] I can't remember exactly. But it was a great investigation. And yeah, in our story, we sort of looked at how it ends up in the shelves and who's making it and how it's being produced. There's an amazing doctor in Mexico City called Dr. Locoh, who we spend time with, a doctor, a crazy doctor, a doctor local, who was a chemist himself, a doctor as well, and his father owned a pharmacy, so he sort of knew how to and he Shipped us. He's making he's putting the little silicone pouch inside and the cotton ball that goes inside and it looks exactly the same like no one would have been able to tell God that's so scary so scary Yeah, yeah, is there any evidence that that happens in America? That it's being sold in America. Yeah. We went with the raid with the sheriff's department where we saw a grocery store in the back that were selling these medications mainly to underprivileged immigrant communities because they [1:03:01] would have been in the legitimate pharmacies. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. No. But we know of. Not yet that we know of. But again, at the end we went and visited a spokesperson for a group called Pharma that is a lobby group that represents the pharmaceutical companies. And she was very happy to talk about how counterfeit medications are very damaging for America. Yeah, so the real ones. That's why I asked her, but why is it that funny million Americans have to resort to a black market because they can't afford their medications here? That whole conversation, as you know, was fascinating. Why don't you say about that? Well, she says that they need the money for innovation, R&D, research and development, and that's how they can get new drugs. They're important for Americans. I said that's all great, but if Americans can't afford these medications, they're not going to be treated by them because they can't afford them. And then I asked her, have you actually spent any time with any of these Americans that [1:04:01] cannot afford their life-saving medications? She said, no. That's the biggest problem, right? Yeah. But she keeps saying that without that expense, without that money, they wouldn't be able to look for all these new drugs, which is also BS, because I think it's something like 34% or 35% of the money that was spent, or it was 35% more money spent on advertisement and trying to sell the drug than it was on actual R&D research and development. Of course. Not only that, to say that they're not profitable after all that. Oh, I mean, like $100 billion atop 10 companies in the last year alone or two years, something ridiculous like that. Yeah, they make plenty. Yeah. Oh, it's. It's greed. It's pure greed. And it's evil. Especially, I mean, I'm sure if you see the Netflix series, Pain Killer, Peter Berg's documentary, I mean, that's how I found out about you through the oxyconic express. Yeah. I mean, what year was that? That was quite a long time ago. That was 2008. [1:05:05] When did we first talk? I think 2008 or 2009. It had to be nine because the podcast didn't start until nine. Okay, so it was nine. It might have been ten. 2010. Oh, maybe. You came to the studio. I wasn't doing it in my house anymore. No, you were doing it at your house. Really? The first time you did it was in my house? I'm quite sure. No kidding. Didn't you live in Sherman Oaks or something? Woodland Hills. Woodland Hills. Yeah. I'm quite sure I went to your house. That's now thinking, yeah, yeah, you're one of my first guests. I thought that. Yeah. Yeah, that oxycontin express story wasn't saying. And I think part of the exposure from your work led to them changing the laws because they had no database. So the way it would work, I'll explain it to people, is that there was no database. So if you got a prescription from a doctor and you went in to get oxy-contin, you could go to another doctor down the street and get another prescription. And they clearly had it set up like that so that there could be abuse because that was [1:06:01] how to maximize profits and they have these pain management centers. And I used to see them when I would do stand up in Florida, where you would go, and it would be called a pain management center. And it's essentially, you would go to a doctor, and all the doctors there is to write a prescription for oxycontin. And then you'd go right next door to their little pharmacy that they had on site, and all they had was oxyconn and you had a just a park and not filled with zombies. These people that were just like, just... Completely in doubt. So, overdosing in the front steps. What crazy? So, my husband did an amazing follow up documentary. If you remember the oxyconn express, do you remember that we were investigating this one pain clinic called American Pain? And the owners were identical twins, born identical twins, and they owned this pain clinic. And they followed us down 9.95 because they saw us filming outside their door. And they followed us down 9.95. And you know, I'm at the wheel and I'm seeing that the gas, we're running low on gas, [1:07:06] so I stop at the gas station and they park right behind us. And these two guys with, you know, big muscles come out and start yelling at us. And so I take off and they follow us and keep following us. And at one point I run out of gas and I go to the side of the, I'm going to freeway on the I-95. And I had been calling contact and law enforcement, D-E-A, that we'd been talking to. And she said, call 911 right now. I know these guys are bad news. Call 911 right now. So we call 911, told them what was happening. We were being chased on the freeway. Eventually, run out of gas, park on the side of the freeway that they just parked behind us and don't get out of the car for a few minutes and then the police shows up. And then they come up with a silly story that they thought I was an ex-girlfriend stalking them. And then we took down their license plate and my husband started looking into them. They ended up in prison, did federal time. [1:08:01] Part of it they were using that surveillance tapes they used was part of our conversations. They were talking about us and our investigation into them and the oxygote next press. But my husband stayed in touch, basically wrote them a letter when they were in prison. And we were deciding on whether he should say, hey, it was the guy who directed oxygote next press, but he didn't. And you just said, hey, my name is Stan Foster. I'm a documentary filmmaker. I've been fascinated by your\u2014they ran the biggest prescription pill operation American history. Like they were the Palaoesco bar of America, basically. They were making millions and millions of dollars out of a couple of storefronts in Florida. And so he contacted them and they wrote back and said, yeah, I'm interested in, by the way, say hi to your wife. So then you full well who he was. And he ended up doing an amazing doc. It's called American Fane. You should watch it. But it's about them. They're rise and fall of these twin brothers. But also the complicity of the pharmaceutical companies. And they'll hate they full well knew exactly what was happening. And they did nothing about it. It's a great way to maximize profits. And the fact that they were taking these and buying them in bulk and buying them off all these people and then shipping them up north. [1:09:07] Yeah. Yeah. And then you see the trail of devastation everywhere these pharmaceutical drugs went. And all these communities that got hooked on the pills and then when they changed the regulation made them more difficult to get, then these people started doing heroin. And then, fentanyl. Yeah. And then the exact same thing happened. We did another documentary called Death by Fentanyl where we looked at the fentanyl and we investigated this one pharmaceutical company called InSys Pharmaceuticals and or EnSystheraputics where they were selling subsys which was a fentanyl product and they were doing the exact same thing that Purdue had done just you know few years before where they were paying the exact same thing that Purdue had done just a few years before, where they were paying doctors for fees to basically prescribe. They were prescribing fentanyl to people with headaches and like shoulder pain. And we got a whistleblower to tell us exactly how it was happening and how they were calling because the pills or this product [1:10:01] was really, really expensive. So insurance companies were paying for it. So she would call insurance companies and say, oh, then she would call insurance companies and say, oh, then they would ask, but this is only supposed to be prescribed to cancer patients. This patient have cancer and they knew how to answer in a way that the person would believe they did, even though they didn't. They're making millions of dollars. It was the only executive that has ever gone to trial and been found guilty. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's sick. Are those two twins still in jail? No, one of them still is. The other one left, and my husband, Darren, was there. How did one get out? They had different sentences. And I think the other one is still in federal prison. But it's George, Jeff and Chris George, George's last name. And yeah, Darren was there film time the day he came out. What's he doing now? They're involved in other businesses. They were involved in real estate before with their father. And then they started a, I think it was a steroids. [1:11:01] They were selling growth hormone. And then they realized, wait a second. We can be selling oxyca and then making a lot more money from this. And literally they had like stash of cash hidden in their mother's basement. It was millions of dollars. It was amazing how much money they were making. Yeah, it's a good it's a good it's a good duck. It really shows you like how much do you worry about your safety uncovering all these things? Sometimes a little bit Funnily enough I worry more when we're going after people in High positions of power Then I do after you know months of trying to get access to the cartel, for example, and when they say yes, it's a yes, it's a yes. But in some situations, yeah, I mean, we've gotten lots of hate emails, and the guy that insists therapeutics, for example, threatened [1:12:01] to sue us, because we compared him to El Ch Chapo and said, basically, he saw an opportunity in fentanyl, just like El Chapo from the Sinaloa Cartel, saw an opportunity in selling fentanyl, and how they were sort of the same in different parts. And they threatened to sue you for that? For the truth? Yeah, he didn't like the fact that we were comparing him to El Chapo. How can you see someone for that seems like that's up. Yeah, he didn't go far. Nothing happened. Yeah. Get that in front of a jury. Yeah, exactly. I don't like the comparison. Yeah, well. Well, he didn't like to be called a drug dealer. Oh, weird. That's exactly what he was. You're dealing drugs. You don't like being called a drug dealer. Maybe stop dealing drugs. Yeah. What do you think is the most dangerous thing that you've ever investigated? I was terrified for you when you were in the cocaine laboratories. That to me, I know you were there. You were right here telling me about it, but I was like, oh my god, she's gonna die. Like when I watched that. Even though I knew that you were okay. I was just like, this is so insane that you did that and that you went through the jungle [1:13:05] with the people that were carting out the cocaine. Like you could have easily gotten killed. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of situations like that on the show. Like almost every episode, there's a crazy situation where I'm in it. Are you addicted to the trail? No, not at all. No. No. No, people think I'm adrenaline junky. Not at all. I don't do it at all. People think I adrenaline junky. Not at all. I don't do it for the adrenaline. I really, I'm very curious. I think as a journalist, if you tell you there's a part of the world that you can never see, that's exactly where you want to go. I also find these black markets fascinating. It's like something like half of the world's economy are these black and gray markets. Half of the world's economy is black and gray markets. Half? Almost half. I mean, less, but it's like these black and gray markets. And gray markets can be anything from people selling counterfeit goods or anything that's basically not lead or cat like gray markets, basically cash in hand and you're not actually [1:14:01] working in an office. So, yeah, so it's a lot. And no one knows anything about these worlds. And I'm fascinated not by the pointing of the thing of these guys or the bad guys and we're spending time with the bad guys, but more about what is the motivation and why, how is the system broken that got us to this place? Because again, it's trying to figure out the root cause instead of the enforcement side of it. Yeah, I did not know it was that much. Yeah, it is crazy. And I think this is the only show that is devoted only to black markets out there. Yeah. But one of the other things you did that was terrifying was, and just terrifying to know this, was that Los Angeles police were confiscating weapons and then selling them to the cartels in Mexico and that you could just go to Mexico easy. It's easy to go straight across the border into Mexico. So you can go to Mexico with a trunk full of weapons and no one stops you. No, there's no control whatsoever going south, only coming north. [1:15:00] Which is wild. Which is wild, I know. And guess what? these are the same guns that are being used to create the violence that create the reason why many people want to leave Mexico and come to the United States. Yeah. Sort of a cycle, right? God. Yeah. Do you think you'll ever run out of topics? No, we have so much. We have such a long list that you think people think. Are there any that you look at and go, that's too much, that's too heavy? No, not yet. Not yet. Like Taliban and Afghanistan. Oh yeah, terrorism, you don't fuck with terrorism, that's for sure. Yeah, and that's why when we went to Niger, we only went because we knew that we were going to have military convoy with us and people protecting us because we knew. But yeah, I mean, it was months of planning because we were all, yeah, you don't. And you still get caught in a coup. And we got caught in a coup. That's the thing is like you can plan, what is there, it's like that Mike Tyson, that like, everyone has a plan to get punched in the face. Yes, I love that, I love that because that is exactly what happens with us. It's months and months of planning for shit that never happens [1:16:06] Yeah, and what happens is always the end that the thing you didn't prepare for. Mm-hmm. Well, weren't ready for yeah Yeah, what else did you cover this year? What else we did we did ape's extortion have you heard of sex torsion sex torsion? Yeah, how's that work? I went zaring Tonight actually Have you heard of sex torsion? Sex torsion? Yeah. How's that work? I wasn't zaring tonight, actually. But it's out on Hulu already. But it's a horrible crime. It's a crime that's growing. And it's basically you start chatting with somebody online. That person eventually asks you to send a photo of yourself, a compromising photo or video of yourself. And they'll send you a photo or video back. And it's mainly targeting teens, which is really sad American teenagers. And then once you do send those photos or videos the person says, well I have all the contact information on Facebook of all your friends and your work and your parents and your school, whatever. [1:17:01] And I'm going to send this to everyone if you don't sum those money right now. And that really sad part of that is that we spent time with parents whose kids committed suicide. And within the span of like a couple of days, so they started chatting online. There was a kid called Jake in Utah, so sad. Started was contacted by what looked like a beautiful girl on a Sunday night. By Thursday or Friday, he'd committed suicide because it was too embarrassed that his friends and his family would see those photos. It is horrible. But amazingly, he left behind a letter for his mother and instructions on how to access his phone so she could see what had happened to him and also who he had sent money to in the hopes that she would be able to investigate or send people to investigate. And the American authorities did, they found that the people that he was sending money to were in the Philippines, but that was it. Like there was nothing else they could do because it was a foreign country. And so we set out to the Philippines and [1:18:05] tried to figure out who it was behind this scam. And so we set out to the Philippines and tried to figure out who it was behind this scam. And we found the whole community of people involved in the scam, scamming millions out of Americans. And did they just see stock photos of girls? Yeah, stock photos of girls. A lot of them, interestingly enough, are actually trans people. In the trans community, we spoke to a drag queen, for example, who was scamming a lot of people. And during COVID, what happened is that they usually do drag queen contest. They make money that way, or work at clubs, or, and a lot of them lost their jobs during COVID, and they had no government assistance. And so they found a way to make some money this way by sex-storting Americans. Yeah, and that was super a crazy journey too. One of the scenes we filmed was we spent time in a prison with a guy that was in prison [1:19:02] for extorting Filipino women. And it was sort of the beginning of our investigation. We were trying to figure out if he was connected to anyone else thinking he was like sort of small fish, just extorting people in the Philippines. And then by talking to him, he basically admits on camera while talking to me. But actually, I've done this to many, many Americans and one of them. And I asked him, do you know anyone who's committed suicide? Because it's a huge problem in the West. He was like, yes, there was one man who was married. He was an engineer, I believe. And he committed suicide after we extorted him. And I said, how do you know? He says, because his camera laptop was on. And we could see it. And I was like, wait, did you not try to stop him? I was like, no, because we heard people saying that they were going to commit suicide, but they never did. So we thought he was bluffing. And then we saw him as he dies on camera. I know. I'm sorry. This is the most depressing podcast you've ever done. No, it's not, unfortunately. But it's horrifying. It's just horrifying the cruelty that people are capable of. [1:20:09] They would do to strangers just for money. Yeah. And especially for young kids to take some teenager, some easily manipulated young kid and trick them into doing something. Yeah. Or the desperation also that leads to it. Yeah. Yeah. exactly, right? Like, that's your only option to do that. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah, that was a, that was a heavy one. Yeah, but... But I mean, sex-stortion is essentially the whole theme behind this whole Jeffrey Epstein thing. That was just a massive intelligence operation to compromise very wealthy and powerful people and to, I mean, probably influence all sorts of things. If you have a bunch of information on someone, videotapes of someone. [1:21:01] You think that's what he was doing? 100%. That he was filming powerful people, having sex with girls and then... Probably underage girls. Really? And then he was this out, this public information? This is what the whole Jeffrey Epstein thing is about. Yeah, you didn't know that? I mean, I knew that he was flying people, powerful people, to an island. Where they were. But I didn't know that he was filming without their knowledge. Yeah, yeah, that's the story. The story was that the whole thing was an intelligence operation and that what they were doing was compromising these people. You get them to go there. A bunch of celebrities are going to be there. A bunch of wealthy people are going to be there. A bunch of famous scientists are going to be there. Everyone's having a wonderful time. You figure like, oh, look, all these Nobel Prize winning scientists and Nobel laureates and actors and singers, all these people are going to be there. This sounds like a great place to be. This guy, he gets endorsed by all these other people. Oh, Jeffrey Epstein is just wonderful billionaire philanthropist and he's just very eccentric and he loves to have these incredible parties and all the most interesting people. [1:22:03] And then you go there and then you know you're doing drugs and you lose your little inhibitions and there's a bunch of lovely young ladies you don't know how old they are and they take you into a room and film you and now he's got the goods on you. And wait this last it's so long, do you think people would have talked about it to each other like say don't go to that island because this guy is... I think the opposite opposite I think once they have information on you they get you to talk to other people we'd like to meet this guy want you bring him come get him to come hang out with us and then you got that guy and say maybe you've got some guy who's on a television show and you know a news channel and he's talking and then you've got some guys a scientist and he's talking to other people and then they're all going to this island and you go there and you're like look Bill Clinton's here, it's got to be fine to be here. There's like all these incredible powerful people here. Oh I found a place where they all get together and you know where they can be protected and so you feel safe. Right. Yeah and then they have you. Wasn't there, wasn't everybody expecting some big names to come out of the documents [1:23:06] that were just, but there wasn't really? They still haven't released all of them. And what I understand is the list is only one victim encounters with people. And she's relaying the list of the people. The list of people that she interacted with and that she knows of, and that she either had sex with or knows people that had sex with and that knows that they were all filmed. And do you also think that he was killed? Yeah. That he didn't commit suicide. 100%. Yeah. A lot of people do. Yeah. Well Michael Badden, the famous forensic doctor that was in that HBO series autopsy, or Jefferson that show, it's a fascinating show that was on a while back that it was basically how this guy, Michael Baden, who's this brilliant forensic specialist would examine these bodies and find evidence [1:24:00] of them being murdered. When they'd said they'd fell down to fly a stairs or this or that stairs, when he examined Jeffrey Epstein's neck, he said that the injuries were indicative of someone being strangled, the ligature strangulation, not hanging. And that it was at the base of his neck, which is not where you get strangled if you hang yourself. If you hang yourself, all your weight goes up here, and he gets strangled up like near where your jawline is. But this was down the base of his neck, indicating like someone strangled him from behind, and his bones in his neck were fractured, which is also indicative of someone who's strangled to death, not being hung. And why was it this made public, or was it it? Well his findings were made public. This is without doubt a bunch of incredibly powerful people who are using their influence to make sure this information doesn't get out or that the impact of this information getting out is very minimal and that it just gets swept under the rug and every time [1:25:02] more information comes out there's a brief little burst of outrage, but no one goes to jail, no one gets caught. Galein Maxwell is in jail for sex trafficking, right? But to who? To who? You have to sex traffic to someone to be arrested for sex trafficking. And when there's no one that's being listed as the people that you sex traffic, but the implication is that these people who you're sex-traffing to are the most powerful people in the world that these powerful Influential people are the ones that were the ones that were using this the ones that were there the ones that were victimized by the scheme Or I don't say victimized were victimized by the scheme, or I don't want to say victimized, they were caught by the scheme. None of them are arrested. None of them are going to jail. But wasn't she trafficking girls for Jeffrey Epstein? Wasn't that both? She was trafficking girls for Jeffrey Epstein, but to who? To who? To them. No. [1:26:00] Yeah, but we're recruiting girls to come and have sex with. Who were the men who are the men oh because if it's not just Jeffrey It's not like Jeffrey Epstein is having sex with all of them. It was a bunch of other people. So who are those people and How come there's zero effort in the media to uncover this? Yeah, I don't know it's kind of insane. It doesn't say it's it's really insane and these but there was a doc done about it The documentary done Believe so yeah, I remember seeing Yeah, but it's like just goes in all the news and the news cycle today is so weird Like something comes in and comes out. It's gone. Right It's very bizarre. It's very very well with the findings of this expert didn't make it to the Final report no this the post the look There was an official autopsy study hung himself and then they brought in the family brought in Dr. Michael Baden to examine it I think it was Jeffrey Epstein's brother brought him in I forget I forget who brought him in but Dr. Michael Baden [1:27:01] Goes in there and he's like no, it's got going to kill him. And nothing changed in the official report. They didn't change it. No, why would they do that? It's a good second. I mean, everything about it is so crazy. First of all, the cameras didn't work. How convenient. How convenient. And this guy is not being watched 24 hours a day. He's one of the most important witnesses. And he, the person wasn't there something about the person supposed to be watching him and just gone to the bathroom or something We're sleep or something. Yeah, I don't know what happened But those people kind of shut the fuck up and then that just Just get swept away. That's insane. Yeah, but the idea is That he was either you know intelligence agency from America or Mossad and that this was a long-term tactic to control people and to get influence over them. You take these men, and most of these men that are in these positions of power, these politicians and heads of enormous corporations. And I mean, look, the guy who is the CEO [1:28:01] of Victoria Secrets donated a $60 million house to him in Manhattan. And there was another guy who was a big CEO who wound up giving him over $100 million. There was a bunch of people that gave him sizable chunks of money. Out of the kindness of their work. And you know, some of them had to step down from their corporations because of their insinuation. They were attached to him like what happened but no one's in jail no one went to jail for it so crazy it's high leveled sex torsion yeah that's the case but I think that's what they've always done look if I was an intelligence agent and if I was ahead of an intelligence agency it was like well how do you manipulate people they got all these powerful people how do we get them under our control? Like that is on the best ways. Especially if you can get loose in their inhibitions, get them drunk, give them coke, and then all of a sudden some beautiful girls giving them a back massage. And you know, you told it's fine. Don't worry about it. Don't worry. Have a good time on the island. You're my guest. And then you're in some room and there's cameras everywhere, you know, realize it and then they go, we have to talk. [1:29:05] I want to show you something. This doesn't have to get out, but you know, we need something from you. Yeah. It is crazy. That's not a bigger thing. It's crazy. Yeah. It's crazy. It's also crazy that that is probably going on right now somewhere else. There's probably another version of that happening, whether it's in other countries or other sort of similar situations. Look, intelligence agencies have always infiltrated shady groups, and for a good reason. I mean, this is my argument about why people are saying, you know, all these feds and instigated January 6th. I'm sure they did. But also, you would want like legitimate good intelligence agents on the ground January 6th just so that things don't go south. So that you know what the fuck is happening. If you got a bunch of people that are like some crazy militia group and they're planning on detonating a nuclear bomb in the capital, the only way to find out is to have people on the ground. But what happens is those people then have a vested interest in getting people to do things so that they can [1:30:06] arrest them, which is like the Governor Whitmer case, where the 14 people that kidnapped or were planning to kidnapped, or 12 of them were FBI informants, and two of them were FBI agents, the one who was the fake demolition expert was going to blow up the bridge and the other one who's the getaway driver, the issue like there's all fake the whole thing was fake there was two dummies they were like what are we doing and those guys were the ones who want to go to jail we do you think that they want actually planning well there are idea they were just dopes they were just dopes they were convinced by somebody yeah they got roped into this thing and the next thing you know they're being talked into some crazy plan where they're kidnapping the governor. And the guys who were doing there were like we never thought it was really going to happen. Like there were just losers who all of a sudden they're a part of like some crazy rebellious organization that's supposed to do something that's going to, you know, we're going to stand [1:31:01] up against tyranny and we're gonna arrest that bitch and what they were really doing was being tricked by federal informants. Mm-hmm. I don't know enough about that case, but I would say, all I think I would say is that there is some responsibility on the, I mean, they can be dummies, but that's not self-defense for not being found guilty of doing. That's true, but also there's a sizeable percent of this population that has an IQ lower than 85. It's pretty big. I think it's, what is the number? What's the number of people, I've know we've looked this up before, but it's pretty confusing. The number of people that are under 85 IQ is pretty high. And if you can get one of them and tell them that you're going to kidnap the governor and actually know they have nothing going on in your life your life is meaningless and all something that's exciting and you think you're a part of a good group like this is we're doing the right thing because you're fucking dumb you have an 85 IQ you're incapable of seeing big pictures. You have a nine volt brain. [1:32:06] There's a lot of people out there like that, a lot. That's the problem with incentivizing people to arrest people. You've got to get them to do something to arrest them. The same thing happened right after 9-11. All these people were contacted by undercover agents who pretended and and and and and and and and and and and and let's join our plot to mom to do that And all these people said yes, but it wasn't their plan and it was an incident. There's a famous story in Dallas There was a 19 year old kid who's again not very smart and They convinced him they radicalized him and convinced him They gave him a bomb and gave him a cell phone to detonate the bomb and then arrested him. There was no real bomb. Cell phone didn't do shit. It didn't really activate the bomb, but that guy's in jail. And they talked him into the whole thing. They provided him with the materials. They gave him the plan. I do wonder, is there something that we don't know? Is it possible that the, is it, I mean, what led them to that kid or to those people [1:33:05] that were wanting to kidnap the governor? Like, is it, is it, were there any pre-planning? Maybe they knew that they were doing something and in order to catch them, they had to sort of give them a little bit of fuel or... Yeah, they're probably radical. They're probably online talking a lot of shit and then someone contacted them and, you know, took it to the next level. You know, but there's a lot of people that say things. They talk shit online. There's a lot of death to America people out there. They don't actually do anything. You know. It is it is a difficult I have to say and I'm playing the devil's advocate here. But if you're law enforcement and you're constantly right being accused of showing up after the crime happens, if you're trying to prevent crime. True. And that's what you do. You're monitoring chat groups and trying to figure out how you can start something happen in the future. Absolutely. And I fully support that. Right. The problem is law enforcement agents are just like everything else, just like plumbers or mechanics. Some of them are really good. And some of them are fucking terrible. [1:34:01] And some of them are corrupt. And some of them are jaded. Yeah. And at the end of the day all they give a shit about is catching people and they have a career and their career is all about catching people. And so if you can trick people and doing something and then catch them, that counts as a catch. Right. And so if there's not enough going on. Yeah. I mean, you make something happen. Yeah. Trying to climb the ladder over here, man. I don't know. Time for fucking ethics and morals and these little finer details. These little bullshit. I'm trying to arrest people. Yeah. They are like everybody else, but they should be held to a higher standard. Yes, they should. But you know, it's like all their businesses. It's just like the pharmaceutical drug business. Like we need pharmaceutical drugs. They people they save lives they enhance people's life that they're I'm I fully support the the creation of pharmaceutical drugs for the most part the problem is you have the people that create them which are these scientists that are working and doing these studies and test to try to figure out drugs that that are beneficial and help [1:35:02] people and then you get the money people. And the money people are not scientists. They're just like, how can I make more? It's like the store of the Sackler family. How can I make more? Absolutely. Yeah, it's a profit, profit, that's full. Let's twist this narrative and do like, this is what you're gonna take, and it's gonna make you better. And you're gonna keep taking it forever. Yeah, yeah. It's an interesting conversation, right? I don't want to get into politics at all, but there is, it's an interesting conversation about how much do we want the government to regulate more or less, right? Right. It's all about regulation and so many of these. And for my investigations, a lot of what happens actually happens because of lack of regulation. We did an episode on body parts, not organs, but this time it was actually body parts. So most people think that when you die, you have a say in what happens to your body, right? You can be cremated, you can be buried, or you donate it to science. But actually, the US is pretty much the wild west of the body parts business. [1:36:05] And there's people who are selling, chopping up your body, and selling them on the back from the back door without any of your knowledge, which is crazy. And a lot of it is legal. A lot of it is illegal. And it's being done. And people are being caught. There was a mother and daughter, mother and daughter in Colorado, who had a funeral home. And they also had a donation center on the side and they had, they had people come in and say they wanted their loved ones to be cremated and instead of cremating them, they were again chopping up body parts and selling them to donations to bio-genetics and center, the scientific centers around the world. And they were caught, but they were actually not charged for chopping up bodies, they were charged for fraud because it is very complicated and they aren't as much laws in this country that regulate what happens to your body after you die. I had heard of this story with this one family, their grandmother died and they found out that she was used as like a crash test dummy. Yeah, and they had no idea that that was going to happen, but they had donated her body for science. Yeah, that is science. Right, it is. And, you know, having surgeons [1:37:11] operate on your hip, practicing with a hip, all of that is science. But that's better. I think because at least you're aware that you donated the body. In these cases, they thought they'd received ashes that contained their loved ones. And instead, there was like batteries, burnt batteries, and other bodies mixed in. Oh, God. People would go, this is such a crazy story. People would go into this funeral home. And as they're signing the paperwork for the cremation, they would hear a chainsaw in the back. Oh, God. For real. And it was the mother, whose job it was to cut up the body parts. Oh my god, with a chainsaw, like a welder's goggle on. Like, people, exactly in complain that they would say that they were building something in the back, but this lasted like months or years. And there's a constantly building something in the back. Oh my god, they're packing up bodies. [1:38:01] Fucking up bodies. Isn't it crazy? Holy shit. It's all black and up bodies. It's fucking up bodies. It's an amazing. Holy shit. It's so insane. But that all happens a lot of this of the for-profit body trade because of lack of regulations. And there's not enough, there's not enough laws out there. Where the Wild West every other country has these laws and we don't, because it's all about money. How can we make money out of people's donating, people's, you know, wanting to do it. Much money was involved in donating bodies. Oh, a lot. We heard of skulls being sold for $5,000. We met with a funeral director that brought us a pen like this and inside the pen there was a little human skull. And he told us all about how it works, like how they were selling, again, instead of cremating the bodies, they were selling their parts. There was a skin wallets being sold online. For $2,500 a tongue can go for $1,000. A human tongue? A human tongue. This is part of the Audities market where people like to have human parts. I'd also like to have it in formaldehyde on their mantle piece or something. [1:39:01] Yeah, and make wallets out of skin. Tattage skin goes for more money. wallets out of skin tattooed skin goes for more money Wallets out of skin really, yeah, you could buy those in America you can buy them online you can find them They're good. Why do I want to look right now? Yeah, story Before you even said it I saw so now I'm seeing the context on the video. I have I'm not even listening to the words, but this Harvard Moore manager on the video i have i'm not even listening to the words but this uh... harvard more manager the issue that was a case of these uh... oddities what is that is that a real body cats creepy creations now i don't think so i i mean i think the skulls are definitely real but a lot of it is like mixed with other things but it's interesting so that the the facebook groups that we got access to where sort of secret that's one of the guys we tried recently to were sort of secret. That's one of the guys we tried researching out to. The guy with the... Allegedly trafficking stolen human remains. Yep. And that's the Harvard Medical School. The person working at the morgue was selling some of their body parts [1:40:00] and procuring also buying from that other guy. Yeah. People are so creepy. and procuring also, buying from that other guy. Shhh. Yeah, it's... People are so creepy. So strange. Like how... And so these groups, you would see the tongues and wounds. There was one that had a uterus in it from aldehyde. And they're being sold, but it's the secretive groups that you need somebody who's been accepted into the group. But we saw all the listings. Have you ever looked into the bodies exhibit? So that was made with like prisoners from China, right? Yeah. If you Google the definition or the explanation where the bodies come from, it's Chinese unclaimed bodies, which may include political prisoners. That's what it says. It actually says that, which may include political prisoners. Right, what it says. It actually says that which may include political prisoners. Right, but here's the problem. The process that they use to turn people in the statues for the exhibit, it's called plastination. You must do it within 48 hours of death. But a Chinese unclaimed body is only unclaimed when it's been sitting there for 30 days. Wow. So that means all those [1:41:03] people got murdered. Oh my god. Not only that, one of the wildest stories was there was a mayor in a city in China that was having an affair with a local television anchor. The wife found out about it. The woman went missing. Her name was scrubbed off the internet. Months later, a new exhibit was in the bodies exhibit of a pregnant woman who's exactly the same size and exactly the same amount pregnant that was when she went, lady went, she went missing, she was eight months pregnant, which went missing. And the woman who was the wife, who was married to the mayor who's having the affair was the manager of the plastination factory. So she killed the lady that her husband was having in a fair with allegedly and then turned that lady and her eight-month-old fetus into a fucking statue which is still on display. No it is not. Yes it is. It's part [1:42:01] of that exhibition. Yes it's part of that exhibition. Yes, it's part of that exhibition. And they've resisted all attempts to do DNA tests. No way. The woman is essentially scrubbed for the internet. The woman that was murdered, you can't find her. But the woman who was the wife who was accused of murdering the pregnant lady also got arrested for murdering an English businessman after that. So she poisoned this English businessman and then was tried but in her place in the trial was another woman. So she hired someone. She probably went to some poor family, got their daughter and paid them. We'll give you X amount of money. Your daughter is going to stand trial for me. I can body double, but I don't know what's my name. Didn't even look at anything like her. But this woman's on a stand. She said she did it, that lady went to jail. No way. 100%. How do you know all this? Because I did a deep dive in it. I have a bit in my act about the body's exhibit. Wow. It's fucking crazy. Because there's a permanent one at the Luxor in Las Vegas that is almost definitely filled with murder people. [1:43:06] That is so good and people pay money to go and look at this. It's science. It's science. You go there, it's science. Look at science. Yeah, the placination is interesting because that's what these family members thought was happening to their loved ones bodies. And they cut them up, right? It's cut into the little... There's a lot of versions of it. There's some where the muscles are completely stripped off the body and they're hovering above the body. So you have like the frame of the bones and then you see all the individual muscles that are removed and like elevated and then you have other ones where the arm is sectioned into pieces. So an arm is stretched out like 10 feet long and it's like sections of it. They leave their genitals on, which is very strange, like that one, look at that one. The person's section. I mean, this is like serial killer freak shit. Oh my god. And if you see what they do, they remove all of the blood vessels [1:44:01] and they have them on display. There's also these bizarre erotic ones where they have them on display. There's also like these bizarre erotic ones where they have people having sex. It's like super serial killer vibes that you get from this. Like look at how this person split down the middle. The heart is in the center, the head is on both sides. It's complete macabre serial killer. Look at that one down there. Those are the people having sex. So there's people having sex, including like penises inserted into vaginas, breast tissue still on, so it's indicative of a woman, that you know that it's a woman, there's people wrestling, there's people playing basketball. It's very fucking stressful there, yeah. It's very fucking stressful. I have never been to one of these. I mean, I've been, I didn't know there were people having sex. Yeah, I've been to it three times. The reason why I looked into it is because my daughter asked me where they had the bodies from. Huh. Is that how it all started for you? Yeah, my daughter was 10, she looked where they got these bodies. And I was like, my first thought was, why didn't I ask that question? Yeah, and then I started doing a deep Yeah, I think they pulled the exhibit from Austria. Yeah, called to shut real bodies, the exhibition over fears that use the executed [1:45:08] prisoners. Organizers of Sydney exhibit deny human rights groups claims that the bodies are from Chinese political prisoners. Yeah, I'm sure you deny it. But there's bullet holes in some of them. So if they're not, who are they from? Like, have the people that organized this or came up with this idea said who they come well they've done investigative journalists reports on this and one of the things they did is they went to one of the plastination factories and you see on the ground they have bodies laid out with with pillow covers over their heads with blood on them right so these people are tied up right they're executed there's a bullet hole in their head and they're all laid out and then the factories right there so they're taking these people because they have to do this within 48 hours of death. They take them, they skin them, they put them in this fluid. I don't know exactly what the process is, but essentially they use this process to stop the body from decaying. And they're selling them, they're making money out of it. Oh yeah, they sell them and then also [1:46:02] they these exhibits generate a lot of money because they're fastening when I went in Los Angeles There's a giant line just look at this. They keep their penis on this guy's holding his skin to the right It's so insane. It's so insane that that is science Like that that's a guy that was executed and they turned him into a statue Yeah, and now people go and pay to the... How many of that? There's a bunch of these. So they keep... Look, he's got his penis still on, but he's holding his skin. It's fucking creepy. Oh my God. And how many of them are there worldwide? I think there is a ton of them. Really? So hundreds and hundreds of thousands of these bodies. Yeah. A bunch Yeah, bunch of different cities probably thousands of bodies. I've never been to one that is. Yeah, well if you're in Vegas, go to the Luxor before they pull it. For people realize it's a fucking murder exhibit. Is it Chinese murder exhibit? Do you think they're going to realize it? No. Shut it down. No, they haven't fucking arrested anybody for Jeffery Epstein's out. [1:47:01] They're not going to arrest anybody for this. They're prisoners. They're already dead. What are you gonna do? We're trying to make money over here. Shut the fuck up. Go to the love plate. This has been on for like 15 years or more. Forever, forever. I don't remember the first time I went to one, but it was in the 2000s. I remember it came to Los Angeles and me and my buddies went, really high walking around this exhibit and all these dead people like this is fucking twisted. Cause it doesn't, it's not just the anatomy. It'd be one thing if it was these bodies and they remove the skin and you see all of the muscle doing all the different, it's fascinating, right? But it's weird what they're doing to these bodies. Like they're, like I holding a skin, the people's head split in half and the brain is floating in the air above it. Like, what are you doing? Right, having sex all of that. Yeah, having sex. There's in the middle of sex, two dead people. I fucking bizarre. Did you think they killed them first and then the bodies do have sex and then cut them up and... [1:48:00] Yeah, they probably, you know, stuck something in the penis to keep it erect and then put it inside the girl's body And then and then there's ones of women where they split them right down the middle And so they split them through their vagina and they cut them in half and you see like the ovaries and the womb and you see all that That is fucking crazy. It's fucking crazy But go find the pregnant woman one because that's the most bizarre what's even find the story because the story of the pregnant woman is really horrible and these were journalists that were able to track her back and figure out who she was yes so this is the woman oh my god that's also disturbing that is the woman allegedly who was having an affair with the man who is the mayor of this Chinese city. Oh another one. Well, found another buddy fucked up. They're just killing people. They kill people and turn them into fucking statues and then put it in a museum and it's okay because it's at a museum. [1:49:01] Science. This is a science museum. This has to be legitimate. So because of this like appeal to authority that you get from being at a science museum, nobody questions it except Sydney. Australia's the only, they were like, hey, mate, what the fuck? What the fuck, you get this body, mate? Like, I don't know how this is okay, but. I think this is the only way to length that exists. So that's the woman. She was a TV news anchor. Rumor two have been bow, jeal, mistress during his term as Dallion Mayor. Boxin speculates that her pregnant body may have been plastinated in a body world exhibit. Yeah. They obviously deny it. Of course they deny it. Hold on, stop right there. The skull shape and other features the pregnant woman's body at the body world Exhibit except to resemble those of Zhang also the nearly mature fetus inside the pregnant woman suggests the woman had been the victim of an officially sanctioned Execution the bodies displayed by body works were prepared by Voss Hagen's [1:50:02] Plastination company in Dallion. Some Neatsons have suggested that Bo himself, they have approved the company's registration in 1999, while the mayor of Dallion, all the bodies used for the exhibitor said to be from Dallion. Gunther von Hagen's, the company founder, is rumored to have special connection with Bo. Now you have to see the guy who invented the body works except because he's right out of a fucking Indiana Jones movie. He wears creepy hats. He looks very bizarre. Yeah, see if you can see like some of the other images of me. He always wears that fucking creepy hat. Where's he from? Gunther von Hagen's. I think he's from Austria, German German anatomist Anatomist and businessman, but he always wears that fucking creepy hat He looks like the kind of guy who would be selling executed people on display That's him. I mean he looks fucking creepy shit [1:51:01] That fucking had alone that is not the kind of act you want wear. If you want to tell me you've got a legitimate business of selling dead people. Look, you look evil, doesn't he? See if you find some other pictures of him. Because some pictures of him that are like ultra creepy. Has he been interviewed? Has anyone asked him about the body? I think he probably shots the fuck up. He did say that he's donating his body when he dies. He wants to be a part of the exhibit. Yeah, it probably feels guilty. Yeah. I think some of them have come from Russian prisoners as well. It's not just Chinese prisoners, but some of them are from Russian prisoners. I mean, probably none of them are actually people that, oh, we have this body. What are we going to do with it? It's been sitting around for 30 days. You can't. It's literally not possible. Because it has to take place in 48 hours of death. It's a yes. Just the process alone would lead people to be very suspicious. What the fuck are you doing over here? Zero consent. Zero consent. Yeah. But me, science. It's science. I mean, that's what I saw. When I first saw it, the bodies exhibit, like, oh, this is amazing. Von Hagen's faces investigation over use of bodies without consent. [1:52:10] Gunther Von Hagen's a pioneer of body plastination and technique observing bodies using saturating them with polymer resin, who was criticized for his televised autopsy in London is under investigation in the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan and in Heidelberg, Germany. He's accused of using bodies without permission and falsely carrying the title of professor. Professor. Oh, I like that. He's one of those. He's one of those. Creepy hat. From Heidelberg University, however, in both cases, he denies any illegal acts and he chooses the other side of misinformation. Oh, the old misinformation term. He'd make for a great documentary subject. Oh, yeah, he would. I wonder if you'll let you talk to him after about 200 bodies of unexplained origin were recently found in his institute a Kurg's it I say that Kurg is Kurg is member of the parliament Abacon Tashkhtan Beko Accused professor of our hoggots of Haggit illegally abducted several hundred bodies from former Soviet prisoners hospitals and psychiatric [1:53:05] abducted several hundred bodies from former Soviet prisoners, hospitals, and psychiatric asylum. Abducted. How many bodies exhibits are there worldwide? They're not all the same company or whatever. Of course. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of the first. One of I think there's more than 100 exhibits worldwide. I'm not sure about that though. There's various companies. We could start one if we found some other old bodies, you know. Ooh, the J.R.y. body works with it. But that's the thing. It might not be just Russian and Chinese. There might be American bodies. Oh for sure. That's what they thought, but the only members of their family members' bodies were ending up in placeacination companies. Yeah, it's crazy. Well, they get it within 48 hours. Yeah, they just got to like get you to sign papers within 48 hours of death. Yeah, I wonder if there's a Placination there has to be a Placination Company here as well, right? That does it in the US. I don't know. I don't know fucking sketchy. Yeah, though. So sketchy. So the whole body part, all of it, [1:54:06] was just sketchy as shit. Yeah. We went to a cemetery in the middle of the night, rave digging. Oh yeah, and saw them like picking out parts of a body. And see, saw. Whoa, did you get crept out? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, shit that you didn't think existed, but it does ghost and shit Not afraid of ghosts I'll be afraid of ghosts if I was at a cemetery dig it up bodies. I mean that's when they come I was in the one digging I know he's there he caught It was it was a crazy attack like middle of the night totally bitch dark and we're going in with the dicker and his team What did you investigate it all in Oregon harvesting? We did, yeah. Illegal organs, like they do that with prisoners too, right? Uh, yes, perhaps we, the ones we found were telling us that they were doing with immigrants, which is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, immigrants that were trying to come during the journey to make it to the U.S. and so the most desperate and vulnerable people. [1:55:07] And we spent time with a cartel in Colombia and in Mexico. And they were saying, yeah, they're going out to even homeless camps with immigrants in all parts of Mexico. It's very, very hard to prove that what they're saying is right. We interviewed a guy called the record. He calls himself the record. He works for this cartel, the golf cartel in Colombia. And he basically told us the most horrific story. Like he's in charge of basically killing people and gathering all the stuff, the organs and all that, with a doctor that comes that they pay. But it was one of those interviews that when he left, I was like, I'm not sure how much of this is actually true. And I talk about it on camera and talk about how it's so hard to verify. But then we went to Mexico and actually interviewed a doctor who was basically threatened by the cartel [1:56:01] if he didn't do some of these operations. So he had no interest in mine to us and told us how this whole thing worked. And then we interviewed an American that went and got an organ in Mexico. And so this American did he know that it came from a murdered immigrant? Yeah, I asked him that. And I mean, there's no way of verifying that it came from, but that it came from the black market. So we don't know where the source is. And he said, basically, you can judge me all you want. But if you were dying, or if your son or daughter was dying, and you knew that the only way you could get this organ was on the black market, when you do it. Oh. And it's a really good question. Yeah, I mean, right? I mean you. That's not who they're killing. Right, but he, he, he, yes, of course. If you know who's being died, if you don't die. If you don't die. If you don't die. If you know the bad guys' liver, you know. You know what I mean? If you know someone's evil. If it's self-earned. Yeah. Right. Probably not. Yeah, Americans die every day waiting for an organ and the system is broken so people have to go and look in the black market [1:57:06] And I think I do think that if you go you know most people don't probably think that this is coming from vulnerable poor immigrants. They probably don't want to know. No and and there's plenty of people out there that are willing to sell their their organs You know in places like India and even Mexico The organs that they can live without but do you know when they do like a liver donation, like say if you need a liver and you and I were the same blood type, they could take half my liver and give it to you and my body would regenerate that liver to full size than six to eight weeks. No. Yeah. That's why I love to come to your shows. I'm here doing this reporting and I had no idea that was the case. Yeah, so the wealth of knowledge about this. Livers are fascinating. That is, I don't know. You could donate part of your liver and I could save you with my liver and my liver would go back to full size in two months. That isn't why aren't we all donating half of our liver's then? Well, it's not, you know, if by the time your liver's failing, there's a lot going on. Like you're probably on desk door anyway. [1:58:05] You probably have a host of problems. It's usually other than obviously genetic issues and cancer and all sorts of other stuff. Like some people just, it's abuse. It's you know, you're drinking. You know, I know a guy who died of liver failure. He died of liver failure from drinking. It's just drinking constantly. And he was on the wait list for a new liver? I don't think he was. Just died of liver failure. So have they tried that? They've actually given people half a liver? Oh yeah, that's a real thing. They do that. Yeah. And your body regenerates. It delivers the only organ in the body that can replace loss or injured tissue regenerate. Donors liver will soon also grow to normal size in a few weeks. So if you take half of my liver, I still have half, I'll have a full one in a few weeks, and so will you. I had no idea. Yeah, it's incredible. It's pretty crazy. Yeah. Liver is a pretty amazing organ. Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah. Are you on the donor's list? [1:59:06] That's a good question. I think when I signed up for my driver's license, I did that. Yeah. Yeah. I am too. And even with this body parts episode, just knowing what happens. Does help. I look a friend of mine has a heart from someone. He had a heart transplant. He had heart attack. Yeah. His heart was deteriorating and they gave him and he's still alive. He's got a heart of some other person. Right. Yeah. He thinks it's an Asian woman. That's like his feeling. I don't know. Yeah. And they don't hate, they haven't told him. I don't think they'll tell you. No. I think if the donor wants the person that gets it to know they can know. Oh really? I believe so because I've seen stories of people, like a donor. Yeah, that's gotta be crazy. Like someone's carrying around your loved ones. Your loved ones heart. That was the story I saw, exactly that. The daughter had died and the mother wanted to meet the person who's heart. Well, that's noble. Yeah. That's beautiful. [2:00:00] Yeah, I think there's a place, I mean, I definitely encourage donations. Well, they're going to be able to regenerate tissue independently in labs. They've really done that with skin, skin cells where they've recreated bladders and they've recreated different organ parts. They're going to be able to do that and just swap you out for a new body like Mariah's 12 times swap you out for a 20 year old version yourself. Oh be great. Your brain and stick it in a 20 year old. Oh, we can't stop. We wake up in the morning. Oh, nothing hurts. That was great. Yes, please. Yeah. Well, that's probably going to happen. It's probably in our future. Or an AI version of ourselves. Yeah, that's more likely. Yeah, that's more likely and more likely it will be integrated with AI That's what I think yeah, I think that's definitely happening. Yeah, have you had people on this show talking about AI? Oh, yeah quite a few. Yeah quite a few. It's kind of a constant conversation Because you know Sam Altman was on oh right. I love Sam. Yes, great. And then I had the the gentleman from Tristan Harris [2:01:04] And what was the other guy's name again? Braskin. He's a raskin. Yes, from the social dilemma. And they came on and they are extremely concerned about AI and the race to sentient AI and who controls it and what happens when it gets released and what it does and it seems and it also seems inevitable It seems like it's just going to happen and China is involved in it and Russia is involved in the United States is involved And who knows that when the other countries are involved in this research as well. Yeah, and they're getting really close Yeah, that it's how do you fight against Progress right? Yeah, right I Think it's happening. Yeah, I just think we are the last biological people. That's what I think. We're the last. I think we're going to be integrated. While we're alive still. Within our lifetime. Within our lifetime, I think there's going to be artificial people. [2:02:03] Yeah. That's one of the big speculations that people have about these aliens and that what we're seeing is an alternative dimension or an alternative timeline and what these things are is us in the future. Oh yeah, exactly. That we are a creation of them and they're watching us and we are a creation of something that was done in the future. That we are a creation of them and they're watching us and we are creation of something that was done in the future and we become that right and the likelihood Mathematically is much more likely, right? We are that yeah, right that we're sort of a video game for people in the future that are playing our characters or that we're some sort of a farm You know that this is how they this is how they develop intelligent life Yeah Right. You know, this is how they develop intelligent life. Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah, I don't know. Have you ever seen anything crazy when you're out in the these? Have you ever seen anything weird in the sky or anything? Not in the sky. I see so much crazy shit right here. I don't think I really need to be looking at the sky. [2:03:03] What else have you, what else have you just done this year? There's one, a really good one. It's an episode I'm really proud of, I mean, all of them. But this one, it started with a DM, a direct message from a woman in Minnesota who told me that her father was in prison in Mozambique, Africa. And that she was absolutely sure he was not guilty. And it started a huge investigation into Mozambique used to be Portuguese they speak Portuguese I have friends that live in Mozambique so immediately appealed my curiosity why is an older American guy in stuck in prison and his daughter is desperate enough to contact me because she wants to try to figure out how to free her dead and so he started investigation turns out this guy was cammed, terrible scam, he was told, he was a retired truck driver, former military, he was told that he had gotten his wife and just died, he was told he had gotten an inheritance and that the inheritance was in Europe. His wife had connections to families in Europe, so it was totally believable [2:04:00] according to him. But in order to get the inheritance, he would have to do a pit stop in Africa, but they would pay for everything. His flights, his hotels, everything. So, the free ride to go to Africa, pick up the documents and then take them to Europe. And in the bag with the documents, where some chocolates that he was to take to Europe to the people he was meeting. And as he's in the airport about to board his flight to Europe, he was stopped by the authorities, and he was carrying five kilos of heroin inside these chocolates that he was completely unaware. And I fully, completely believe he had no idea. So he's sent to prison. He's given one day trial, 17-year sentence. He's almost 70 years old, so he's probably going to die in prison. And it turns out he wasn't the only American there. There was another American from California and a Canadian, all victims of the same scam, and within two, three days, all three of them. And this is just one high security prison in Mozambique out of all prisons around the world. So we went, we visited him, we saw him, we brought his daughter to see him, [2:05:02] she unseen him in four years. Super emotional. And then we went to South Africa. We basically investigated the trail of money and who had paid for what, the hotel, the flights, everything. And we came face to face with one of his scammers. We filmed undercover in a hotel in South Africa where I basically confronted the sky, who's Camden. I pretended that I was a friend and I was looking for that inheritance as well and that I had that I was willing to travel and do whatever for that money. I pretended I was a what they call a MAGA which is a dumb gullible American. They call them magas. Like make America get again? Yeah, it's interestingly the same name but I don't think it comes from that. It's an Igerian saying. Is it a new level person? I don't think it's new. So it predates MAGA? I think so. Wow. It's interestingly the same. Yeah, it's the first thing I thought when I thought it as well, when they said it to me, but I pretended I was a MAGA. And then, yeah, came face to face with this guy. It was crazy. What was that like? [2:06:07] It was interesting because at first we sat down and he was saying that Rodney Baldness, which is his man's name, the Rodney Baldness name, and you have his inheritance. And I said, I think it's $2.57 million. And is that money still available? And he was like, actually, it's 2.4, 2.5. I was like, okay, so he's cooperating with what I'm saying. I was like, okay, so I started talking to him a little bit more. But then he got a little suspicious, and he was asking to see my ID. He said, okay, great, but in order to be able to continue talking to you, I have to your ID. I couldn't show him my ID because I hadn't given him my real name, obviously. So at that point I decided to get to leave pretend I was going to my room to get my idea and then I came back and decided to confront him and tell him, look I'm a journalist, I really like to talk to you on camera and he was like pretended that he had no idea what I was talking about that he didn't know that he had called me Zoe and then he was like no no no I'm here to meet [2:07:02] what's her name Catherine. I was like wait aren't you Mr. Wilson the men that I just here to meet what's her name, Catherine. I was like, wait, aren't you Mr. Wilson, the man that I just spoke to, and he was like, no, no, I'm not Mr. Wilson. My name is Robert or whatever. I was like, dude, I have your own camera. I'm filming. He's doing what? I'm filming. I filmed this whole interaction. And then he stands up and laughed. And it was a whole thing because he's part of this bigger group that is a criminal group and kind of scary and dangerous. But we presented this. We reached out to the State Department to see if they could investigate because they have done very little for Rodney. And if they could investigate his case and crickets, like they don't know who it refused to talk to us. They say they're doing that what they can to help him. but he's in completely substandard conditions in this prison with no real access to good health care. And the guy's going to die in prison. And there's no way to get him out. That's what we're trying. I hope that when this stock is aired, [2:08:02] it's not on Hulu yet. It will be on Hulu and it will be on that geosin. But when it airs, the government will take another look and try to do something for this guy. It's like former military guy. You know, he's like, it's so obvious that he's innocent. And they're not even trying, like that's what upset us, is that there isn't real help there in getting him his medication. his food has to be paid, has to be brought from the outside because they don't give him actual food and prison. So his daughter has to send money via me to a friend of mine who lives in Mozambique. So it's this whole bank exchange in order to provide food for this guy in prison. They give you like a really bad porridge once a day or something like that, not something that's any good for your health and he has diabetes and has a bunch of other. So they have this, they hire this woman to cook food and bring him to prison every day. What a way to end your life. It's so crazy, right? Scammed like that. Yeah, and. [2:09:01] And abandoned by your government. Yeah. No one's doing anything. At least that's my. Yeah. It's a and realizing that this is actually big and it's happening all around. How do you maintain your faith in humanity? I do. I know you do. You're a very friendly, nice, smiling person. I'm very, very optimistic. Very optimistic about the world. Which is crazy, considering what you've seen. But it's not because when you're able to sit down with a cartel member or a scammer in the Philippines or all these people that I meet around the world, and I'm able to find humanity in them, I'm able to find commonalities between me and him. I'm able to see that if this person in the majority of cases was given another opportunities that he wouldn't be, the person he turned out to be, that shows me that it's not entirely humanity that's broken. It's the system. It's the systems that we've human beings have created. [2:10:02] But the accountability at the end of the day lies in the people of power, the people that are able to make a difference in that system. And not in the drug dealers or the coyotes, mugglers or the scammers, you know? It's amazing that you can maintain that perspective. And that just really is an amazing testament to your character that you're able to see that for what it is and not lose faith in people. Yeah. Because you are confronted constantly with these scenarios, but that is the one thing they have in common is desperate people. Absolutely. It's always the most vulnerable people. Nobody is born wanting to be a criminal, right? You are put in that position and that's what I see again and again. Yeah. Yeah. Listen, Mariana, what you do is amazing. I mean, I'm stunned by your courage. You're one of the real last boots on the ground journalists who goes into terrifying places and consistently exposes these incredibly fascinating [2:11:03] horrific scenes. And if it wasn't for you, a lot of people would know about a lot of these things. So thank you. Thank you for everything you do. Oh, thank you so much for having me and for your such a supporter of my work. I really appreciate you. I appreciate you too. Stay safe. I will. And tell everybody traffic. It's available on Hulu. How many episodes are available right now? Ten episodes eight are out on Hulu too. We'll come on very soon and you can watch it also on that G or every Wednesday at 9pm. And you have how many previous seasons? This is the fourth season sweet three more. Wow and they're all awesome. Traffic, Mariana Benzeller. Yeah that season three right there. Go watch it folks.