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Articles tagged "Smuggling"

“Let’s Deal”: A Conversation with a Diamond Smuggler

It wasn’t even level. In fact, just about the only redeeming thing about the tilted plastic card table was the cartoonish beer logo plastered atop it. Even that was scuffed to the point of unreadability, warped in equal parts by a merciless sub-Saharan sun and the constant shuffling of a big-number Casio calculator. The cracked legs weren’t going to hold out for much longer either. More roadside trash than practical furniture, this table could barely hold a garage sale cashbox....

Traders

Back in the early 1990s, when Wild-West capitalism came to Russia, I was a chelnok, or shuttle trader. My wife and I (we weren’t married at that stage) traveled the whole world in search of cheap merchandise and markets to sell it at. Well, not exactly the whole world—but almost. The most common way of doing business was to buy merchandise in Russia, take it to Poland, sell it for ten or fifteen times as much, and get hold of dollars at a good rate; then you traveled to China,...

An Austro-Hungarian Guidebook

Novi Sad, Thursday afternoon, April 9, 1987 Energy and resourcefulness. These virtues have excited me lately, sending me into a pathological rapture, duping me into rashness and loss of self-respect. I'm sitting on a smugglers' bus, overcome with the contagious cheerfulness of the other travelers, their impatience as they face an adventure. They are in a realm of chattiness, of conspiratorial mirth. The Vegeta seasoning powder is in our baggage, heavy as cement but promising a...

from The White Fly

The White Fly (2000) is the first Arabic detective novel translated into English. Set in contemporary Tangier, Morocco, the narrative follows Detective Laafrit as he investigates the case of four dead bodies that have washed up on the city's beaches. While the victims initially appear to be harraga-or illegal immigrants-who regularly drown in the Straits of Gibraltar trying to reach Spain in small fishing boats, Laafrit quickly discovers that one of them has been brutally shot dead....

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