MIAMI, FL. (October 5, 2016) – We live in a black market world and if faced with life or death, and you had the money, would you buy an organ to save your life? FUSION’s new, original docuseries “The Traffickers,” hosted by award-winning British journalist and television personality Nelufar Hedayat, digs deep to unearth the fine line between the legitimate market and the black market. She exposes a world that is much closer than you think, seeing firsthand how illicit goods and people move from consumer to source. As Nel travels off-the-grid and under-the-radar she discovers that while everything has a price, these underground networks are not as black and white as they seem. The eight-part series premieres Sunday, November 13 at 10:00PM ET with two riveting episodes. “The Traffickers” is produced by Lightbox, cofounded by Academy Award® winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man”) and his cousin, Emmy Award® winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”).
In the first episode, entitled “Dark Side of Adoption,” the 28-year-old journalist experiences the world of child trafficking first-hand, uncovering how international adoption drives demand for a supply of the world’s poorest children and shedding light on how genuine acts of kindness are corrupted by fraud, theft and deceit. In “Killed for a Horn,” Hedayat follows the bloody path of rhino horn trade which ultimately reveals a dark, secret war between gamekeepers, who protect, and poachers, who steal.
Season one of “The Traffickers,” comprised of eight, one-hour episodes, pulls the curtain back on other headline-making issues including: human organs, guns, gold, sex, pharmaceuticals and pangolins, the most trafficked mammal in the world. With only one camera person in tow, Hedayat travels via train, plane, automobile, boat and even rickshaw, across 22 countries including: Colombia, India, Bulgaria, Greece and Nigeria to shed light on the criminal networks that drive the vast and complicated world of trafficking. In each episode and with the help of local “fixers” she embeds herself into a network of profit-driven dealers, compliant middlemen, bribe-taking officials, poachers and smugglers and fully explores both the players and the process, from visiting dingy alleyways and bustling markets to investigating the transportation networks, packaging factories, and safe houses that are an essential part of the narrative. By securing access to government officials and leaders, and taking advantage of timely intel and her linguistic prowess, she can go where the story takes her, no matter the danger or the distance.
Nelufar Hedayat is an award-winning journalist with her own powerful story. Having fled war-torn Afghanistan as a child herself, Nelufar’s work has often focused on the cultural upheaval experienced by women, children and families in conflict ridden societies. For the past six years, Nel was on assignment with the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian covering breaking news, live events and in-depth investigations in some of the world’s most hostile environments. While at the BBC, she secured what she says is her most important sit-down to date, the first television interview with Malala Yousafzai for the TV documentary, “Shot for Going to School,” which Nelufar wrote, co-produced and hosted.
“Making these films has transformed my life and how I see the world. I have realized we are all more interconnected than we believe, and that includes our involvement in the world’s largest black markets,” said Hedayat. “I am hopeful these stories will help spark important conversations and some meaningful change.”
Keith Summa, SVP Content and Programming for FUSION said: “This series is an intriguing mix of ‘The Amazing Race’ and great journalism. With her distinct style, Nel takes us on a journey that makes us all realize we are far more connected to an illicit world than we imagine,” he said. “Nel has overcome incredible odds and obstacles in her life and with that experience comes the kind of no-holds-barred honesty and relatability that will make this a truly eye-opening watch for viewers. Her fearless attitude and sense of justice make for powerful storytelling at a time when telling the truth matters not just to audiences here, but to audiences around the world."
“The Traffickers” is produced by Lightbox and FUSION. Executive producers are Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Sam Collyns for Lightbox and Keith Summa, Daniel Eilemberg and Isaac Lee for FUSION. Suzanne Lavery serves as co-executive producer.