MANILA, Philippines – It takes a gangster to understand a gangster, and what really goes on in the underworld. For the first time in what is considered to be television’s most intimate and in-depth study of prison gang culture, INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE goes behind bars and takes viewers on an all-access pass into the previously impenetrable world of notorious syndicates. Join former mafia insider and ex-convict, Lou Ferrante, as he re-enters this hellish world he walked away from a decade ago and taps into his knowledge and inside networks to unravel the secrets and truth about the world’s hidden leaders: gangsters whose international reach and power have grown to epic levels. Get INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE every Thursday at 10:00 p.m., starting March 21.
A four-part series, INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE is an exclusive look at real life hoodlums from across the globe and their paradox of organised crimes – illegal activities that are both hidden and blatant. From Latin America, to the United States and Europe, ex-mafioso boss, Lou, uses his insider smarts to shed new light on a variety of very different gang cultures, delving thoroughly to decode their history, modes of operation, developing webs of power, motivations and political sway – in graphic detail. INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE begins in El Salvador, home of the second highest homicide rate in the world, where rival gangs, 18th Street and MS-13, are engaged in a bloody war. Will they ever call truce? Then in Poland, home to more than 500 criminal gangs, Lou sets off on a mission to infiltrate the shadowy underworld of The Grypsers. Also known as ‘The Smart Ones,’ they are a notoriously private and secretive prison outfit that forms approximately 70 per cent of the Polish prison population. The big question in Lou’s mind? Do The Grypsers control the Polish Mafia outside prison or does the Polish Mafia control them?
While many deem Italy as the birth place of planned crimes, Lou embarks to Naples with the aim to gain access into one of the oldest, toughest and most opaque mafias – the Camorra. At least 300 years old, the Camorra was reputedly built on tenets of respect, honour and straight business, yet these days, they thrive on chaos. How did they evolve to their current state of anarchy? In INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE, Lou also heads to Albuquerque, United States, and witnesses first-hand, the violent and secret recruitment process for new members for Burqueños, one of the world’s newest and fastest growing prison gangs.
Leaving no stones unturned in INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE, Lou immerses himself in the cultures of these illegal assemblages, both inside and outside of prison. Witness as he lives alongside inmates, talks to guards, gets under the skin of outfit members and meets top tier “soldiers”, and then tracks the external trails of gang supremacy in the outer world where he meets their family members and key underworld figures for insider perspectives. So what drives prison gang culture? How do these illicit associations run their activities, grow and prosper behind bars, yet continue to terrorize communities living outside? Find out all you ever wanted to know about real life prison gangs in the following episodes of INSIDE THE GANGSTERS’ CODE:
18th Street, El Salvador
Lou travels to El Salvador, home of the second highest homicide rate in the world, to meet 18th Street, a ruthless, multi-ethnic, transactional criminal organisation engaged in a bloody war with rival gang MS-13. To find out what motivates the on-going war, Lou realises he will have to meet their feared and infamous leader, Viejo Lin, and journey to Izalco Prison in Sonsonate, which houses 838 of the country’s most violent 18th Street gang members, including many of its feared inner circle.
The Burqueños, United States
Lou visits Albuquerque, United States, to meet the Burqueños, one of the world’s newest and fastest growing prison gangs. Witness first-hand, their violent and secret recruitment process of new members. While there, Lou discovers how the Burqueños’ power is threatening blood rival TCK, and attempts to score an exclusive interview with Jeff Padilla, the menacing gangster, mafia boss, and supposed shot caller for the Burqueños. With the Burqueños’ strict code of silence, Lou certainly has his work cut out for him.
The Camorra, Italy
Naples, Italy, is viewed by many as the birth place of organized crime. Lou heads back to his mother country with a mission to infiltrate one of the oldest, toughest and most opaque mafias of them all – the Camorra. At least 300 years old, the Camorra was reputedly built on tenets of respect, honor and straight business, and yet these days they thrive on chaos. The police estimate that the drugs trade in the Secondigliano area of Naples alone nets Camorra gangsters over a billion Euros a year. Lou arrives in Napes in the midst of a violent inter-clan war, which rages throughout the extended region of Campagnia and discovers that for a new generation of Camorra bosses, there is no honour amongst thieves.
The Grypser Gang, Poland
Lou heads to Poland, home to more than 500 criminal gangs, to infiltrate the shadowy underworld of the Grypsers. Known as ‘The Smart Ones,’ they are a notoriously private and secretive prison gang that forms approximately 70 per cent of the Polish prison population. Lou is on a quest to discover if the Grypsers control the Polish Mafia outside prison, or if the Polish Mafia control the Grypsers. Along the way he visits some extraordinary Grypser bosses including ‘Tomasz’, an English speaking ‘protected witness’ who was left for dead after his debt to the Polish mafia went bad. He is now under permanent armed protection.