Caught And Trafficked
In my earlier article "Missing In Action" I wrote about how people were disappearing and becoming victims of the nefarious and shady organ harvesting trade. While organ harvesting/theft is relatively a new (and very lucrative) phenomenon, financially it pales in comparison to the world's oldest profession: Prostitution. Human trafficking has always been king. Long before the mass production of cocaine, heroin, and every other synthetic drug out there, human trafficking dominated the underworld of human civilization. For many women, especially those in the Third world and economically depressed countries, the sex trade is the only way they can feed themselves and their families. Savvy madams usually capitalize on this unfortunately reality and will often manipulate and pimp out young women in brothels in order to maximize profits.
This method of the sex trade came to be mainly because young and naïve women volunteered themselves to become a part of the life. Nowadays, with the sharp rise in social dysfunction and shitty single parent households, many young girls often runaway from home to give themselves a chance at a better life, not even knowing that they made it much easier for them to get forced into sex slavery by foreign goons with good looks and suave accents. With the advancement of social media apps and mobile technology, it's quite easy for a slimeball human trafficker to lure young women into lavish party environments with a text or IM, only to kidnap them and sell them to the highest bidder in some God-forsaken black market auction overseas. Movies like the Taken series show how the sex trafficking industry is well-woven into the social fabric of Europe. However, another recently released film appropriately called "Traffik" gives viewers an in-depth glance into how sex trafficking goes on in the land of the oppressed and the home of the enslaved, a.k.a. the United States of America.
"Traffik" starts off in Sacramento, California where an ambitious and bright journalist Brea (played by the lovely Paula Patton) is trying to pitch a story to the lead editor of the Sacramento Post (Carl) about a random topic, but Carl stonewalls her. To Brea's chagrin, Carl gives the same story to another journalist to run with. Brea is clearly pissed and gives Carl a piece of her mind. Predictably Carl fires Brea on the spot. She immediately leaves the Sac-Post headquarters. Brea has no idea that she will soon stumble upon a story no newspaper would refuse: A major sex trafficking ring that being run a few hours outside Sacramento. Brea's keeps the bad news about getting fired to herself as she and her boyfriend John (played by Omar Epps) meet up with some friends (Darren and Malia) for Brea's birthday dinner at a local restaurant. While their wining and dining,
Darren spilled the beans on the surprise that John had for Brea (a weekend getaway in one of Darren's fancy mountain retreat homes). John also had another surprise up his sleeve that not even Darren knew about. He was going to propose to Brea once they got to the mountain retreat. As Brea and John drive up to the retreat, they stop by a small town gas station to fill up the car and get some snacks. Brea went inside the convenient store to get the snacks while John filled up the gas tank. While taking a bathroom break, Brea ran into a woman that seems distraught and disheveled. The woman (Cara) seemed as if she was crying out for help, but before she could say anything, some rough-looking biker dude came in the bathroom and snatched her up. However, Cara managed to slip a cell phone into Brea's purse without her knowledge. Meanwhile, John got into a minor scuffle with a group of racist bikers outside while pumping gas. Luckily for John, a police officer stepped in and told the hooligans to move along.
After Brea and John manage to escape the gas station in one piece, they resume their trek to the mountain retreat. Once the two lovebirds get there, they unpack hop in the pool, sip on fine wine and enjoy their solitude. Suddenly, John and Brea hear someone coming into the house. John goes downstairs to investigate only to find out that Darren and Malia decided to unexpectedly crash their private party. John is obviously a little heated because Darren and Malia's arrival also disrupts his proposal plans for Brea. John and Darren iron out their grievances and manage to turn the situation into a group weekend affair. Both couples are chilling out in the living room, drinking and laughing until they hear a strange phone ringing. Everybody looks at their phone, but it was any one of theirs. Brea notices that the ringing is coming from her purse. She looks inside only to notice a small satellite phone in there that was left there by the distraught biker chick. Somehow, after a few minutes of lucky guessing Brea and Malia were able to unlock the sat phone. What they found was quite disturbing to say the least. Brea scrolled through the photos and saw hundreds of women gagged, tied up and physically abused. Brea immediately realized that these were photos of women in a sex trafficking ring that were behind moved around like cattle.
Malia's journalistic instincts immediately kicked in and was thinking of ways to notify the authorities and the Sac Post. But before she was able to put her plan into action, someone started knocking on the door. When Brea went to open it, it was none other than the biker chick at the door. Brea wondered how Cara was able to find her, but in her mind, she instantly realized that the sat phone had GPS tracking activated. Cara, in an eerily disturbing voice asked for her phone back. Brea refuses for obvious reasons. Cara immediate runs off in distance toward a bunch of bikers and goons. It was obvious that Brea and John were set up from the get-go. However when Cara went to the leader (Red) without the phone, Red rewards her with a bullet to the head. This is were everything goes HAYWIRE. I don't want to give too many spoilers to this one but basically everybody in the house dies but Brea and Malia. Both of them end up getting kidnapped by the goons (who happened to be sex trafficking ringleaders). However she manages to escape and free Malia and a of the girls that were held captive with them. Brea also manages to expose the local police department who were also involved with the sex trafficking and were able to bring the whole operation down singlehandedly. Brea finally has her "Pulitzer-worthy" story for the Sacramento Post and was able to give her lead editor the middle finger with a smile.
So what can we learn from the movie "Traffik?" Let see here....first and foremost it's important for us to understand is that it's not only the big cities that are infected with the scourge of sex trafficking. It's these quiet suburbs and small towns that you can barely see on a map. These are the perfect locations for human traffickers to set up shop and to make tons of money off their victims without attracting too much attention from police. Well, at least the police officers who aren't getting their piece of the action on the side to keep things quiet. More often than not, if there's a sex trafficking ring going in any random town and it doesn't make the local news, the local police are probably keeping an airtight lid on it. They're used to killing people with impunity anyway so getting rid of any potential threats to the business is definitely not a problem. Unfortunately, for those honest folks in law enforcement who really want to make a difference, it's nearly impossible for them to eliminate sex trafficking rings because they have become so clandestine and complex (particularly on the dark web). It's almost as futile as trying to save a sinking ship with a teaspoon. Brea's bravery and miraculous luck ultimately helped her saved the day in "Traffik." If we had more law enforcement agencies with her serendipity, they might be able to gather enough momentum to derail these diabolical human trafficking organizations and eradicate them for good.