The World History of Organized Crime

The World History of Organized Crime

2001, Crime  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 8.15/10 from 60 users.

From Hong Kong to Sicily, this gripping set examines five of the world's most notorious criminal syndicates. The World History of Organized Crime travels the globe to get an insider's view of some of the most active, dangerous and diabolical criminal syndicates in existence. The five episodes focus on a different region, examining the conditions that helped create these groups, talking to law enforcement specialists about how they are being fought, and relating true stories of famous cases.

Sicily: With its long history of foreign occupations, the people of Sicily have created a culture of self-reliance, honor, and distrust for authority. With this in place, La Cosa Nostra emerged in the late 1800s and was able to put a stranglehold on their country that went virtually unthreatened until the late 1980s. It was then that Judge Giovanni Falcone began to prosecute and convict them with the aid of Tommaso Buscetta's testimony.

Russia: After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia switched to a free market economy, opening the doors for the Red Mafia to take control of an estimated 40% of the nation's economy. As one of the most fearsome, violent, creative, and well-educated criminal organizations in the world, the Red Mafia has been difficult to locate and shut down.

China: This program examines the secretive history of the Triads, their traditions, their influence in America, and their main export - human cargo.

India: Located in Bombay, "Bollywood" is one of the most prolific and profitable film industries in the world. Unfortunately, it is also the target of the underground mob, which aided the industry previously when the government refused to help them with financing. The program also explores the roots of this mob and traces them back to the "Thugs" of the 19th century.

Colombia: Focused on the Cartels and, in particular, Pablo Escobar, this program explains how Colombia's most lucrative export – cocaine – shaped it into a country of violence and corruption. Using narco-terrorism and bribes, the Cartels quickly came to control Colombia, but even their dissolution didn't end the seemingly unstoppable flow of drugs.

More great documentaries

26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. awful_truth

    Not sure why, but lately it seems that the documentaries on this site play with small delays, then kick out altogether leaving an exclamation mark in the video screen. Since it is not happening on other sites, I can only assume it is technical issue.

  2. bluetortilla

    Makes you wonder- aren't things actually far worse than portrayed here?

  3. morrisseyowesmemoney .

    Lol, "bitch wars".

  4. Tim Caffery

    Huh, just like the CIA took over the US. The Red Mafia are just wanna be CIA storm troopers.

  5. Lastviewer

    As mentioned; - The Red maffia must have taken over the Russian Gov. since that docu came out. I feel that because of political regime (Until the communism fell), it kept them a little "Behind", late...
    For some other countries, the criminal organisation already took over the government some 60 years back.
    But they're doing fine I guess, they'll get there if not done by now.

  6. Lord Bob Fates

    Of all the, uh, 'organizations' out there, I gotta say that the comrades scare the crap out of me the most.

  7. Greg

    @ Nigel from New Zealand
    Re @anurag

    Hear hear!!! Quick, to the point and completely right. Your comment should be required reading in all American elementary schools lol that wouldnt cause too much trouble would it?

  8. invictus11

    The link up between mumbai(Bombay)underworld and Thugs is quiet comical, the Bombay underworld started as a group of smugglers mainly dealing gold and electronics.

  9. Ryan H

    The federal agent at the beginning says, "The mafia has no goal other than to enrich itself and to get power."

    Oh, the irony!

    1. carlee rose

      Lol isn't that the damn truth?

  10. Steven

    Think of all that money and where it goes. Organized Crime has a great competitive advantage in business. They don't pay taxes and they're are murder on the competition. Money is worthless paper. You can't even smoke it. It has to be invested to keep its value or it's value is the value of the investment. So if you can offer to pay your countries national debt, what part of the world economy isn't controlled by these people. To me it sort of explains the fraud perpetuated on America with the housing crises. These have to be the same good old boys. What interests me is how much corruption can a society or system absorb before it completely turns belly up.

  11. princeton

    well said @ nigel & grey area.

    lol the Columbia drug mafia episode was kind of funny to me.. a simple solution to the whole mess would have been to legalize the D@&# drugs and let legitimate businesses bankrupt these psychopaths.

    but no.. let's all just pretend we really care about people's safety and create a problem where there was none.. lol

  12. grey area

    @ Nigel from New Zealand
    wow man nicely put , i couldn't have said it better. whitehouse truly is jus a pack of thugs like any of these groups , just they call themselves a 'legit govt' . the amount of arms the u.s govt' traffickis alone could shut down every criminal group in the world combined. americans will help you as long as you promise to be their puppet, but the second you start to think for yourself ....BAM they invade your a$$ and start the democratic killing

  13. Nigel from New Zealand

    Al-Qaeda? you mean the trained & armed militants that the CIA created to fight the Russians to give them their own Vietnam? Is that the same Al-Qaeda you refer to? Or do you mean the "data base" also created by the US after 911 to justify an endless global war for their buddies in the Industrial Military Complex? Either way you look at it Al-Qaeda is boogie man created to keep us all in fear & accept the gradual loss of our freedoms in the name of keeping us safe from the terrorists. The worlds biggest terrorists are in the White House buddy and little by little their game is being exosed for the pack of lies that it is.

  14. Nigel from New Zealand

    How come the Federal Reserve, World Bank, IMF or United Nations isn't here? The complicity of these unelected world politicians in crimes against humanity makes even the Italians look like choir boys!

  15. anurag

    Among all the Mafia dons it is Dawood Ibrahim who has become a terrorist from a don,and he in on the most wanted list of many law enforcing authorities for his links with al-queda,Let,etc.from narcotics,human trafficking,arms,extortion you name it and he is involved in it.

  16. Mad at the world

    Escobar was a hero to some, and a villain to many... I wonder if Escobar would've rejoiced as much as that DEA agent had it been that agents body in that coffin...

  17. Jay

    I thought this was the very best website on the internet until the new overhaul, now I know it is without question! Incredible work Vlatko and crew! Please don't retire this site or I will be forced to sell our computers...

  18. Achems Razor

    @Mad at the world:

    Click on the link that @nick_kcin: provided, blog 3, that is the Russian one.

  19. Mad at the world

    No Russian?

  20. Achems Razor

    Watched the docs, that were a little outdated, was mainly interested in the Russian mafia, and then realized I saw it before.

  21. Shiba

    Organized Crime & Goverments work hand in hand.

  22. Steve

    Haven't watched this yet, but have to ask, "What about Japan?" 120,000 active members of the Yakusa, ties to every major crime syndicate in Asia and North Korea, deeply entrenched in the Japanese government thereby influencing the third largest economy in the world, and a very long tradition in Japan (400 years at least).

    Not saying the doc is bad, just wondering why the seeming oversight.

  23. nick_kcin

    went to skip straight to the russia one because you never hear much in detail about the organized crime over there compared to the mafia, colombian drug cartels and such...
    But its not there! help me vlatko

  24. grey area

    this is a sweet doc , these crime docs always entertain and answer some questions about these gangsters ive always wanted to know. im still torn on which of these 5 is the biggest and baddest tho i gotta go with the italians but the columbians are first in drugs no doubt

    1. AQuoh Xii AppLe

      ol i want is 2 know what ways the ways that organized group works commonly for the organization, what was the characteristics of Organized crime, the generic types of OC, the essential composition of OC, and the criteria that manifest a syndicated group to be considered organized.