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Dead Cows for Piranhas: A Perilous Journey inside the Drug Trade

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A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced or deceived into drug running. The 'dead cows' are set up to be arrested, thereby allowing professional mules carrying much larger quantities of drugs to slip past undetected. Through the heartbreaking accounts of the prisoners, Friedman became convinced that the decoys should not be viewed as perpetrators of narcoti trafficking. Her own high-risk investigations - including an attempt to get recruited as a drug mule (filmed with a secret camera), as well as trying to track down the middlemen - appeared to confirm this. She concluded that many drug mules are victims of human trafficking - as pawns readily sacrificed in a profit-driven war waged by global drug barons.


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A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced or deceived into drug running. The 'dead cows' are set up to be arrested, thereby allowing professional mules carrying much larger quantities of drugs to slip past undetected. Through the heartbreaking accounts of the prisoners, Friedman became convinced that the decoys should not be viewed as perpetrators of narcoti trafficking. Her own high-risk investigations - including an attempt to get recruited as a drug mule (filmed with a secret camera), as well as trying to track down the middlemen - appeared to confirm this. She concluded that many drug mules are victims of human trafficking - as pawns readily sacrificed in a profit-driven war waged by global drug barons.

30 review for Dead Cows for Piranhas: A Perilous Journey inside the Drug Trade

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathe Coleman

    Dead Cows for Piranhas: A Perilous Journey inside the Drug Trade by Hazel Friedman "A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced or deceived into drug running. The ‘dead cow Dead Cows for Piranhas: A Perilous Journey inside the Drug Trade by Hazel Friedman "A high-octane journey into the brutal underworld of the South African and transnational drug trade Journalist Hazel Friedman was on assignment in Thailand to document the stories of the increasing number of South Africans convicted as drug mules when she made a horrifying discovery. Many of the drug traffickers are in fact decoys. These individuals find themselves coerced or deceived into drug running. The ‘dead cows’ are set up to be arrested, thereby allowing professional mules carrying much larger quantities of drugs to slip past undetected. Through the heartbreaking accounts of the prisoners, Friedman became convinced that the decoys should not be viewed as perpetrators of narcotics trafficking. Her own high-risk investigations – including an attempt to get recruited as a drug mule (filmed with a secret camera), as well as trying to track down the middlemen – appeared to confirm this. She concluded that many drug mules are victims of human trafficking – as pawns readily sacrificed in a profit-driven war waged by global drug barons." This was so well written. Not being from SA some of the historical aspects of the book were not familiar to me but still excellent.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I remember reading of Babsie’s arrest and feeling conflicted about whether or not she was guilty. Hazel dives into the drug trade and human trafficking and further shows the Rainbow Nation as the farce it is. From the sham that was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission go the still long reaching effects of apartheid, the poor black person is still suffering. The South African government are complicit not only through non action but, also through shielding some of the high power players involve I remember reading of Babsie’s arrest and feeling conflicted about whether or not she was guilty. Hazel dives into the drug trade and human trafficking and further shows the Rainbow Nation as the farce it is. From the sham that was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission go the still long reaching effects of apartheid, the poor black person is still suffering. The South African government are complicit not only through non action but, also through shielding some of the high power players involved in drug syndicates. I’m left with an overwhelming sense of disappointment as the conditions that land these young women particularly, in these precarious situations still prevail. 3.5⭐️

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cindyanne

    riveting, compelling, horrifying and unputdownable! The links between our country's politicians and the drug underworld is the stuff nightmares are made of. Friedman's tenacity at getting the story is admirable, her encounters spellbinding . I caught myself saying "this can't be real" more than once, then praying that my child is spared this horror. emotions vacillate between believing you get what you deserve to deepest empathy for the unsuspecting dead cow victims and their families. A highly riveting, compelling, horrifying and unputdownable! The links between our country's politicians and the drug underworld is the stuff nightmares are made of. Friedman's tenacity at getting the story is admirable, her encounters spellbinding . I caught myself saying "this can't be real" more than once, then praying that my child is spared this horror. emotions vacillate between believing you get what you deserve to deepest empathy for the unsuspecting dead cow victims and their families. A highly recommended read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Louise Fisher

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Gave me huge insight into the vicious world of drug smuggling and the role and fate of drug mules.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christy Tawii

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emile Engel

  8. 5 out of 5

    Viv Howarth

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendi Erasmus

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gail

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  13. 5 out of 5

    Esna Swart

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mpho3

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie Campbell

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cloud

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tony Maxwell

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Muzi Zitha

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allan Miller

  23. 5 out of 5

    Igrowastreesgrow

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ras Nongoloza

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mmabatho Khanyisile

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Smith

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zeus Lumumba

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sindi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shona Reader

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