The business of crime: EDHEC professor Bertrand Monnet has made a series of documentaries for educational purposes and the general public

EDHEC Business School is pleased to announce the launch of a series of TV documentaries made by Bertrand Monnet, Director of the EDHEC Criminal Risks Management Chair. The series is to be broadcast…

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17 May 2021

EDHEC Business School is pleased to announce the launch of a series of TV documentaries made by Bertrand Monnet, Director of the EDHEC Criminal Risks Management ChairThe series is to be broadcast in France on RMC Story, under the title “Le Business du Crime”, with the first episode to be shown at 9.00pm French time on 18 May.

An innovative way to educate on a high-stakes subject

Trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime, fraud, counterfeiting, piracy…, far from exotic, the business of crime is a dangerous reality for many companies, whether established multinationals or burgeoning start-ups. Aware of the issues at stake, EDHEC set up the Criminal Risks Management Chair in 2005 in order to teach the School’s students the right reflexes and specifically how to detect and make decisions on criminal risks.

MBA, Bachelor, Pre-Master, MScs…, each year over 2,000 EDHEC students learn how to analyse the exposure of companies to the crime business and take strategic measures to limit the effects. 

The Criminal Risks Management Chair ensures it teaches the discipline in a way that best reflects reality, by underpinning its teaching with multimedia case studies. Each course combines academic presentations, interventions from large companies willing to present their risk management strategies and field interviews filmed with certain participants in the crime business, including hackers, traffickers, pirates, rebels, and counterfeiters.

Media production

Although the Chair’s field studies were initially used exclusively as training tools, they were also quickly recognised as a means of informing the public through the media.   

Bertrand Monnet, for example, has written several reports on the crime business for French magazines L’Express and L’Expansion. Since 2017, he has also put together five in-depth reports for Le Monde, including a series of three documents on the Sinaloa cartel in December 2020.

These field studies naturally led to the production of TV documentaries as well. Back in 2016, Bertrand Monnet made the 52-minute documentary “Pirates: Menace sur le Commerce Mondial”, focusing on the threat posed to world trade by piracy, for Canal+ (produced by par Magneto Presse). And now, he has prepared two 70-minute documentaries for RMC Story (“Le Business du Crime”), co-produced by CinéFrance Studios and KM.

Episode n°1: a deep-dive into the Sinaloa cartel

The first episode of the series is devoted to the business of the world’s largest drugs multinational, the Sinaloa cartel of Mexico.

Out in the field, Bertrand Monnet observed the cartel’s activities for a period of seven weeks, filming the production of the drugs it sells (heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs), following the supply chain of this criminal business and interviewing certain of its “officers” regarding the cartel’s internal organisation, the techniques it uses to launder billions of dollars of dirty money and the sales strategy it employs on a planetary basis.

Switching between immersive sequences filmed in the presence of drug-traffickers and scenes of in-class explanation and decryption in front of EDHEC students, the documentary provides a clear and precise insight into the threat posed to the legal economy by a criminal enterprise generating billions of dollars in revenue and earning margins ranging from 2,000 to 4,000%.

Bertrand Monnet, a singular profile for teaching that excels

A graduate of the prestigious military academy, Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, Bertrand Monnet began his career as an officer in the French army, before moving into the private sector as an advisor to numerous companies on criminal and terrorist risks. Since 2005, he has been a professor at EDHEC, where he is the Director of the EDHEC Criminal Risks Management Chair.

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