Inside the Dark World of Assassins (Full Episode) | Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller

Inside the Dark World of Assassins (Full Episode) | Trafficked: Underworlds with Mariana van Zeller

Hitmen and the Assassination Industry

  • Hitmen are paid to silence their victims and remain silent about their work.
  • In South Africa, taxi bosses hire hitmen to eliminate their competition in the lucrative taxi industry.
  • Taxi bosses also run side hustles hiring out assassins for high-paying hits on whistleblowers, business leaders, and politicians.
  • Assassins often use illegal automatic weapons and disguises like private security uniforms to carry out their hits.
  • Illegal firearms are a significant problem in South Africa, fueling the assassination epidemic.
  • Assassins use various methods, including car bombs, IEDs, poison, and firearms, but firearms are their weapon of choice.

The Life of an Assassin

  • An assassin named JoJo reveals that he started killing because there was always a demand for it and it provided a way to make money.
  • JoJo estimates he has killed close to 30 people and gets paid around $1,400 per hit, with the rest going to his backup team.
  • Poverty and inequality in South Africa are significant factors driving individuals into a life of crime and assassination.
  • Hitmen often justify their actions by convincing themselves they have no other choice and that killing is the only way to survive.
  • Hitmen in South Africa perform a traditional ritual bathing in blood and bile to protect themselves from the spirits of their victims.

The Impact of Assassinations

  • The story highlights the devastating impact of assassinations on the lives of victims and their loved ones, as seen in the case of Johanna Pena's husband, Eric, who was assassinated after reporting fraud in a government project.
  • Assassins have the power of life and death but are also vulnerable, expendable, and replaceable.
  • When assassins kill, they do more than silence a person; they silence the truth, instill fear, embolden the corrupt and powerful, and leave the poor with fewer choices.

Police Corruption and the Role of Government

  • Police corruption allows contract killings to become a tool for protecting corrupt interests, as seen in cases in Mexico, the Amazon, and the Netherlands.
  • South Africa's Minister of Police, Becky Chelly, acknowledges the corruption within the police force but downplays its extent.
  • Despite the government's efforts to combat assassinations, many hitmen remain at large, and the fear of assassination is used as a tool of control.

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