I Study Economic Crime and Hang Out With Mexican Cartels

I Study Economic Crime and Hang Out With Mexican Cartels

Bertrand Monnet is a professor, but his field work and research is a little… unusual.

Bertrand Monnet is a professor of economic crime at EDHEC Business School in Lille, France. But he’s not like the professors you had at university, quietly sinking five pints of ale in the local each night before plodding off home to watch Blackadder repeats.

Monnet has spent the last decade gaining the trust of Mexico’s infamous and bloodthirsty Sinaloa cartel. Using his status as an academic – rather than a journalist – he persuaded the narco gang’s leadership to let him embed with the cartel, and for seven years has been filming every stage of their latest boom industry: the illegal M30 fentanyl trade that has ravaged the US.

This is not his first rodeo. He’s been taken hostage in Brazil, tangled with Yakuza in Japan, and met with mafiosi in Italy. His videos, made primarily as case studies for his students, have also been drip fed on to the internet as short documentaries. Again, what the footage captures is not what you’d expect a university professor to be doing in his spare time – whether he’s repeatedly asking sicario hitmen if they believe in God, spending evenings with zombified fentanyl users beside a highway in New York, or going undercover with cartel bosses as they seek to launder narco blood money through shadowy property investment schemes in Dubai.

Read more: vice.com

Photo: vice.com

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