Organised crime, glamour and corruption: how close to real life is McMafia?

Despite his calm and affable exterior, things are getting very serious indeed for Alex Godman, the central character played by James Norton in the BBC’s new drama McMafia. Those viewers tuning in on Sunday night (don’t worry — no spoilers here!) will have seen him being drawn further and further in to the corrupt and murky world of organised crime.

As a banker he has a key role to play, moving money gained from drugs, people trafficking or counterfeit products into opaque tax havens using anonymously owned companies. The sums are significant, millions of dollars are transferred in each transaction, and for those who inadvertently get caught up in this complex web — trafficked women, street vendors who have no choice but to hawk fake goods…

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