This award-winning exposé returns for a second thrilling series, uncovering the brutal criminal underworld of Asia. Daring access brings us up close with the most current issues affecting millions across the region – from China’s black market for babies to kidnapping syndicates holding foreigners for ransom in the Philippines – this is a hard-hitting look at Asian criminality today.
Tens of thousands of children are believed to be stolen from their families and sold on China’s black market every year. For some criminals, stealing babies has become a way of life. Li Guoju, a farmer from Henan province, was executed in 2004 for his part in trafficking and selling 76 babies. Li's gang was caught after 28 baby girls were found on a bus in 2003.
There is a sickening dark side to even the most ordinary foods – a threat to human health that is growing every single day. Criminal groups in China have invaded the food industry, creating poisoned and outright fake versions of our basic ingredients, mixing in illegal dangerous additives, and even selling waste material as food.
In Cambodia, prominent anti-logging activist Chut Wutty was shot dead by police in a remote southwestern province while taking journalists to the site of illegal logging. Illegal logging has recently been linked to cases of murder, corruption, fraud and theft. The ties between criminal syndicates and illegal logging are just starting to be revealed by the INTERPOL and the World Bank.
Kidnappings have plagued the south of the country for decades, being most prevalent in Western Mindanao. They are mostly perpetrated by members or allies of Muslim terrorist organizations. Kidnapping for ransom is a danger throughout the country. Several militant groups see it as way to fund their operations, and foreigners are often targeted.
The begging syndicate is an extremely powerful one. Begging is a profession, and a business worth millions of rupees in India’s cities. Its twisted grip on society spreads far and wide to include kidnappers, traffickers, goons, beggars, doctors and even police.
An average of 150 vehicles are stolen a day in Malaysia. Where they once used metal rods or rulers to disable a car's locking system before hot-wiring it, they now rely on high-tech gadgets that can deactivate an alarm and other security features to enable them to steal the vehicle in seven minutes on average.