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Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

Trafficked_with_mariana_van_zeller_241x208
  • Premiered: 
    December 2, 2020
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Nat Geo
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER is an eight-part docuseries that explores the complex and often dangerous inner workings of the global underworld -- smuggling networks, and black and informal markets. Each investigation embeds with journalist Mariana van Zeller on a mission to understand a specific black market and the lives of the smugglers and outlaws who run it. Offering a rare peek behind the criminal curtain, she tracks the chain of custody of illicit goods, learns the secrets of the trade and provides a 360-degree view of the trafficking world from the POV of the traffickers, law enforcement and those caught in the crossfire. As she meets the willing players and unwitting pawns who make, buy, sell and move goods, services and ideas, Mariana attempts -- with characteristic boldness and empathy -- to unearth the geopolitical circumstances and context that create the world's multi-trillion-dollar shadow economy. Mariana will speak to how this global underworld affects everyone's world and what you should know about them now, as they continue to become issues that leaders worldwide need to address. TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER premiered on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 from 9-11pm ET/PT, as National Geographic Channel debuted back-to-back episodes. Episodes include:

"Scams" (Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 9pm): Mariana dives into the world of international scamming to understand how it all works and meet the outlaws at the heart of this booming industry. Her investigation takes her from the streets of Montego Bay to the glitzy neighborhoods of Tel Aviv as she pursues some of the biggest phone, lottery and financial scammers in the world and learns why Americans are the perfect targets.

"Fentanyl" (Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 10pm): Fentanyl has turbocharged the deadliest drug crisis in American history. But less understood is how the drug has utterly transformed the black market. Mariana goes in search of the new bosses, new routes, new risks and the American communities paying the price for fentanyl's next wave.

"Counterfeiting" (Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9pm): Mariana journeys deep inside the Peruvian underworld to meet the gangster craftsmen who make and sell the world's finest counterfeit U.S. dollars. Along the way, she learns that many of these counterfeiting operations are run by criminal families in Lima, who are making a fortune despite the anti-counterfeiting efforts of the U.S. Secret Service and the Peruvian National Police.

"Tigers": Mariana tackles what one of her sources calls "the untouchable smuggling story." The black market for tigers and tiger parts is so lucrative, so secretive and so dangerous that few have attempted to uncover its ugly details. Mariana journeys far, and near, to meet the smugglers face-to-face.

"Steroids": In the age of social media, the demand for illegal steroids is booming. Mariana searches out producers and users in an attempt to understand the vanity, insecurity and greed that's driving this dangerously unregulated, billion-dollar black market in body-enhancing drugs.

"Pimps": In an eye-opening journey through her home state of California, Mariana embeds with pimps, victims, undercover cops and private investigators to understand the ugly business of illicit sex in America. How do pimps recruit? How do they think? Where do they get their power? And just how far will they go to grab their share of this billion-dollar black market?

"Cocaine": Mariana retraces one of the world's most intractable smuggling routes, following cocaine's path from a remote Peruvian valley through Colombia's Caribbean coast, all the way to the streets of Miami. Despite the decades-long U.S. War on Drugs, cocaine production is at an all-time high, and Mariana meets some of the makers, smugglers, drivers and teenage backpackers who risk their lives to deliver America's favorite party drug.

"Firearms": Mariana uncovers a lethal supply chain of American firearms being smuggled into the hands of drug cartels and fueling record levels of gun violence in Mexico. A journey filled with jaw-dropping access to gunrunners, mules, cartel bosses and assassins takes an even more terrifying turn when the son of the world's most notorious drug lord, El Chapo Guzman, is arrested and the cartel that Mariana infiltrates decides to violently revolt.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Muck Media