Passage Twenty-four (A Smuggling Syndicate)
The smuggler in many ways is just another international businessman and his turnover would do credit to many international corporations. His business happens to be illegal and risky, but look at the stakes involved: $5 billion worth of heroin smuggled into the United States each year, and $1.5 billion in gold passing annually along smuggling pipelines to India and Indonesia, to France and Morocco, to Brazil and Turkey. Perhaps half of all the watches made in Switzerland reach their eventual wearers by some back door. Most of this illicit trade is carried on with all the efficiency of any multinational company. Entirely legitimate businesses, such as a travel bureau or an import-export agency, are also often fronts for smuggling organizations. One of the world’s largest gold smugglers also owned and operated the franchise for a leading make of British cars in a small Middle Eastern country. He made a good profit from both activities.
A smuggling syndicate operates much like any other business. The boss is really a chief executive. He makes all the plans, establishes international contacts, and thinks up the smuggling routes and method but remains aloof from actual operations. He is aided by a handful of managers looking after such specialties as financing, travel (one reason why many smuggling syndicates find it handy to have their own travel agency), the bribing of airline or customs officials, and recruitment of couriers, or mules as they are called. There may also be someone in charge of local arrangements in the countries to which the smuggled goods is going.
Another similarity between legitimate business and its illegal counterpart is price fluctuation. Just as the prices of products traded legally vary with quality and market conditions such as supply and demand, so do the prices of goods go up and down in the smuggling trade. Consider the price of drugs. Heroin and cannabis, in whatever form or by whatever name, cone in several grades, each with a going price. The wholesale price at which big dealers sell to big dealers is less than the street price. When the authorities are successful in reducing the supply buy seizures, the price of all grades rises.
1. The main idea for this passage is
[A]. The Comparison between Legitimate Business and Its Illegal Counterpart.
[B]. The similarities between Legitimate Business and Smuggling.
[C]. Smugglers May Make Great Profit from Both Activities.
[D]. The Boss in Smuggling Syndicate is a Chief Executive.
2. When is the price going down?
[A]. The quality of the foods and market condition are not very well.
[B]. The quality of goods and market condition vary.
[C]. Unbalance between supply and demand.
[D]. The price of other goods fluctuates.
3. It can be inferred that a smuggler
[A]. may make plan and establish international contacts.
[B]. is a real boss.
[C]. may make money in different ways .
[D]. may sell other goods.
4. One of the best ways smugglers usually take is
[A]. to set up multinational companies.
[B]. to engage in illegal businesses only.
[C]. to make legitimate businesses as fronts for smuggling organizations.
[D]. to make good profits from both activities.
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