If you have ever wondered how much money is to be made black marketing items from a USFK PX this article should give you some idea:
Camp Long soldiers seeking anything beyond basic food and living products must now take one extra step before shopping — to catch a bus to Camp Eagle.
The remote installation’s Army and Air Force Exchange Service store closed Sept. 14, leaving the roughly 150 Camp Long-based soldiers waiting for an hourly shuttle bus to ride the seven miles to Eagle. [...]
Officials say the store hemorrhaged money until it bled to death: Total sales dropped from about $2.77 million in 2004 to about $2.17 million in 2005. Sales dropped again to about $1.61 million in 2006 and, as of Sept. 10, sales for 2007 were only about $172,000, according to AAFES officials.
That meant earnings of $584,145 in 2004; $229,897 in 2005; $66,181 in 2006; and a loss of $16,919 for this year as of Sept. 10.
Army Maj. Bruce Townley, installation commander for Long and Eagle, said the reason the store lost so much money was that authorities busted a major black-market ring there last year. [Jimmy Norris, Stars & Stripes]
Here is my prior posting on the Camp Long black marketing ring.
The Camp Long PX is a small PX and was able to make $2.77 million in sales in 2004 and then once the black marketing ring was caught and shut down sales dropped to $172,000 this year. That is a difference of $2,598,000 dollars. Just think how much money the larger PXs and especially the commissaries are bringing in for the black marketers? The amounts of money being made is mind boggling.
Is it any wonder why the AAFES employees black market when there is this much money to be made? Additionally the punishments if you are caught are so light the black marketers really have very little to lose and a whole lot to gain. For example the manger of the Camp Long PX received a year in jail but since he has been black marketing for years he is most likely a millionaire now. A store employee received only a 10 month suspended sentence. Who knows how much money he saved up during his time black marketing.
Since General Bell took over there seems to be an increased effort to crackdown on the black marketing, but this does beg the question of why a crackdown did not come long ago especially when the black marketers are so easy to identify. I think that is a can of worms nobody wants to open now.