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BBC’s McMafia tells story of £1 billion Russian gang war

By David Amoruso

Move over HBO and The Sopranos, there’s gonna be a new tough guy in TV land. And this one’s coming from the United Kingdom where the BBC has announced it will produce a new series based on the true crime book McMafia.

Just like Misha Glenny’s best-selling book of the same title, McMafia takes us into the world of transnational organized crime where gangs operate in multiple countries and have their paws in numerous illegal schemes worth billions of dollars.

The story centers on one Russian crime family living in exile in London and expands to include money launderers in Dubai, cyber criminals in India, black marketeers in Zagreb, narcos in Colombia, Russian oligarchs in London, and Bedouin smugglers in the Negev desert.

Glenny made his enthusiasm about his book being turned into a television series perfectly clear on Twitter, writing: “OMG! I am so thrilled. McMafia to be a major BBC TV drama with some of the finest script writers around.”

The show will be created by writer-director Hossein Amini (Drive) and director James Watkins (The Woman In Black). Amini told newspaper The Guardian that, “I have always been a fan of mob sagas but Misha Glenny’s McMafia is the first book I’ve read that captures the complexity and global reach of organized crime in the 21st century. The lines between gangsters, bankers, politicians and spies has been blurred and the whole world has become a battlefield in this global gang war.”

This season is expected to be six episodes with each episode estimated to cost more than £2 million. If successful, a second season should not come as a surprise to all you binge watchers out there.

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