When Village men do dollar business
By Akol Arop Akol
There are two incidents that I almost forgot but I remembered. Last Year someone gave me some money (10,000) and said I should take it to his brother whom I know. The money was 100 notes, imagine how huge it is. My pocket was too small and the fear of Toronto boys, I made a decision of changing with someone to give me 500 notes.
As I was walking in Custom Market the Dollar men who do exchange called me. “Come here brother, do you have something to be exchanged?” they asked. “No, I am carrying heavy money here but I need few notes to fit into my pockets because I am going far,” I said. Okay I will give you 500 notes, but I need an interest,” one man said. He said that he would take 100 for each and for whole exchange he wanted 1, 000 SSP. I said that money was too much. And the money wasn’t mind too.
I decided to give him my own 500 SSP but he refused. After disagreeing, I asked him to give me back the money. There were 3 men counting money. Two men divided one bundle of 5000 SSP and the man I talked with wanted to count the rest 5000 of 100 notes.
When I demanded the money back, he gave me the first bundle that he didn’t count and I put it back in my back. The two men put together the money they were counting together and forwarded to me. They looked suspicious and I started doubting the money.
Though it was tiresome, I took my time to count it, unfortunately it was 4,300 SSP. I asked the man why 700 was missing, he said my money was like that. I acted serious and threatened them to bring police if they didn’t bring the missing money. “Do you know who I am, what I do and where this problem is going to end?” I questioned.
When I became serious the man made some gestures with his colleagues who counted the money. While seriously facing me, he extended his left hand backward and one man gave him money. He combined the notes, but unfortunately the 4,300 were tied with rubber thread but the 700 was not.
“My brother, take your money and count it well. We have not taken anything.” While suspiciously looking at me, I counted and got 5, 000 SSP. I smiled and said. “You Dollar men are not easy. They laughed and said that I was clever at the moment.
On a separate day, I went to Juba Town. While moving inside the market, someone called me from far. “Hello man, come, come!” The sun was hot, I wanted to buy something quick and take a bus to go home. While the man called me, I felt my walk got disorganized but for the thought that it might be someone who knew me, I have to submit and go to him.
He looked at my feet and the bag I carried. “Are you okay boss. Do you have something?” he asked. “Something like what?” “I mean some Dollar?” he replied. I got disappointed and walked away. I asked myself, how someone could call me for nonsense when sun scored on me. If I had dollar, I should be the one to look for them not them calling people anyhow.
When village men do dollar business, the economy will never be stable. Those men have their big relatives who loot money and give them to do Black-market exchange business. I also heard some of them who got convinced with the business sold their cows and came to Juba for dealing.
They are the same people who go to banks, forexes or money transfers to buy Dollar cheaply and then sell it costly.
The issue is not being village men or dollar dealers, the problem is adding greediness and cheating when exchanging. Some of them give people fake dollars. Some time back this business was stopped by the security agents who went to the market and dispersed those selling money for money under umbrellas but they came back again. Is black market not affecting the country’s economy?
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