The dangerous life of a Guinean motorcycle trafficker
Once we all packed up, we set off on a 300 kilometre journey. We travel in groups. Salesmen who bring motorcycles into Senegal the legal way go through customs at the northern border, where they have to pay a fee, which means they then sell their motorcycles at a tommy hilfiger uk higher price. Me, I take a road through Senegal national park to avoid customs. By taking this road, I have better chances of avoiding Senegalese army patrols. I do have to pay 20,000 Guinean francs [about 3 euros] per motorcycle in bribes to cross the border, but this is a small price to pay. I then sell them to people who work in the goldmines not far from the border, for well below the market price.
The only problem with all this is that the journey is a living hell. Our lives are constantly in danger. There is no road, so we have to drive in the dense forest, where it easy to run into a rough spot, fall off your motorcycle and break your bones. This happens quite often, and there nobody around but your colleagues, who are not trained doctors I got scars all over my legs and arms; scars that will never go away
That not our only problem, though. Here are the top 3 dangers: number 3, the wild animals we run into. This is a natural preserve, so there are many of them! The worst are the snakes and the crocodiles. Some of us have even run into lions and elephants, and have had to abandon our goods while fleeing.
Number 2, crossing rivers: this is a t tommy hilfiger uk ricky step. You never know how much weight the dugout canoes can bear until it too late. We often lose bags of goods to the river. I have several friends who have drowned trying to save a few bags.
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But what we most sc tommy hilfiger uk ared of is definitely number 1: the Senegalese troops. If you run into them, you done for. They take everything you have, everything you worked for, and you got a good chance of ending up in jail. We live with this permanent fear of having to start all over from scratch.
I was shocked to see what these young men, who are usually between the ages of 18 and 30, are willing to do for just a couple million Guinean France [a few hundred euros]. Most of the ones I met wanted to show me how difficult it was for them to make a living, with the legislative elections just around the corner.
They didn try to defend what they do, but they believe that there is a major unemployment problem affecting young people, and that this encourages the youth to turn to trafficking.