Greasing The Wheels
Today I watched the 2nd Part of The Gold Mafia which was more about how the laundered money becomes legitimate. The process takes many wheels to grease which is bribes in our language and bursaries or donations in theirs. This is Africa in a nutshell and why cash is required to facilitate any deals being done.
I was a little worried about this particular episode as I was hoping my connections were not implicated in any way as this is serious illegal stuff taking place. South Africa is Grey listed due to money laundering and this is the biggest crime currently taking place privately outside of the Government.
The Gold Leaf Tobacco products are being smuggled onto South Africa at such a rate it is hard to believe there is no Government involvement. Actually hard would be the wrong word as it would be naïve to think they aren't involved. There will be a fall out from this series as some of the individuals are still currently employed within the banking sector.
If you have done any business within Africa you will know that bribes and back handers is what facilitates business deals. When I started my packaging business I was aware of this and tried to fight against the rampant corruption and was blocked in most cases. This is how certain business accounts are protected and it doesn't matter if your product is better or cheaper you stand no chance of succeeding. This is why some people get rich and others don't as they are paying for the business.
There were times I was tempted to blatantly say how much would it cost to make this happen, but never did as if you choose the wrong person you will have no chance o supplying. I would find it insulting if someone tried to bribe myself and just maybe I am too honest. This is like you have to speak another language as it seems everyone is after money in order to leave this country being their end goal.
Certain businesses do require a certain type of person and definitely certain accounts would require out of the box thinking. Maybe I will try different tactics on certain accounts going forward as it is clearly what is required as I have never been a great greaser type person.
An old family friend of ours tried to take me under his wing when I had just left the Army and the only reason I turned him down was his business was ultra shady. He dealt in scrap metal and was very wealthy then lost it all and as soon as he had lost it was wealthy again. The only way this happens is through bribery and corruption and maybe thinking back would have been the best training for Africa.
I just find it sad that this is the mindset in most businesses today as your salary is no longer enough and most want the extras. Theft is happening in companies not only in their warehouses, but in their offices by the employees entrusted to oversee the buying process and it is a scary thought. I am sure this is happening worldwide and not just in Africa, but it is blatant here.
A business friend once remarked (Car Phone Warehouse) that if he had 1 cent for every backhander he was asked for he would not have enough room to stack then on his board room table. This is the truth as people look for these kinds of deals over genuine business deals as there is no benefit to them even though it benefits the company which is their job.
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