This is confirmed news: at 9:30 PM, June 30, 2006, all the gates of Xiangyang Market was closed, and no customers are allowed to enter the market from then. Soon, the buildings will be cleared and the site will be turned into a retail and office complex.
No more Xiangyang Market in Shanghai. So don’t need to waste time to go to the site to try your luck – it is closed, and it is gone.
Where will be Xiang Yang Market go? Many of them moved to Qipu Road Market, which is at the Qipu Road (near the Suzhou Creek and the Middle Henan Road), and others moved to the Yatai Market.
According to some report, 200+ small merchants moved to the Yatai Market at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Metro Station of Metro Line #2. The market will open soon.
There is no doubt that the prosperity of a market like Xiang Yang will not be back.
Also, it is clear message of “NO” to fake goods and products. According to the news, Yatai put “No Fake Goods” into the rental contracts and kept close eyes on this issue. Anyway, China has entered the WTO; the Beijing Olympics will be held in 2 years, and the Shanghai World Expo 2010 is just 3 years ahead.
That’s bad news.
Well China launders a lot of money from exporting those girls with shaved pussies! Now you will see why the US cannot do anything about it! Just read this guy’s book!
“Hide and Seek” is actually two books: one takes a detailed look at the history and workings of America’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the other looks at trade and related phenomena in money laundering. The publication’s full title is “Hide And Seek: Intelligence, Law Enforcement and the Stalled War on Terrorist Finance”, by John Cassara (2006: Potomac Books, Washington, DC). FinCEN is the financial intelligence unit that looks at a small number of America’s suspicious activity reports.
‘FinCEN doesn’t do systems’
A substantial portion of the book chronicles Cassara’s tenure at FinCEN. Cassara joined the unit in the late 1990s, fresh from a stint at the US Customs office in Rome. In those days, that office’s responsibilities reached as far as the Middle East.
At FinCEN, according to the book, Cassara’s expertise on topics such as the use of gold to launder money and the relationship between smugglers and terrorist financiers fell on deaf and unappreciative ears. Cassara and a few colleagues realised that there was a whole world of “alternative remittance systems”, such as hawala and the black market peso exchange, that moved vast sums of money. Their assertions were not theoretical conjectures: Cassara had worked on countless cases involving these schemes in locations ranging from Italy to Lebanon. FinCEN’s policy, then as apparently now, can be summed up in one dictum: “FinCEN doesn’t do systems”. This phrase came straight out of the mouth of one of Cassara’s superiors and refers to two main traits for which the task force is famous. First, FinCEN does not try to disrupt systems such as hawala or the BMPE. Secondly, it shies away from building up meaningful systems of its own.
Resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift
FinCEN appears to work by deciding not to do things. Cassara’s efforts to motivate FinCEN to do something about Middle Eastern alternative remittance/hawala “systems” went absolutely nowhere, even in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. At roughly the same time, it also decided not to participate in Operation Casablanca, the largest money laundering investigation of all time; so much for proactive disruption. FinCEN’s other “no system” approach is evident from the story of how it allowed its own artificial intelligence system, designed to detect suspicious transactions, to wither and die. This system showed great promise and was the subject of several scholarly papers in the early 1990s; its bane was management disinterest.
FinCEN also undertook the expensive and ultimately pointless development of AAS, the Anomaly Analytic System. This project was built on Fortran software that was older than some of the FinCEN analysts who were supposed to use it. It seems to have “died” before it was ever deployed.
Analysis by hitting the ‘print’ button
When readers reach a certain stage in the book, they will realise that the task force is good for virtually nothing. It cannot handle computer systems; it will not demolish hawala systems; its officers have traded their pistols in for a quiet life. Surely, the reader must think, FinCEN is still doing at least something to justify its fabulous annual budget. What about the national and regional anti-money laundering surveys that seem to be its only product these days? Surely these represent FinCEN’s true worth.
This subject, unfortunately, brings us back to FinCEN’s database capabilities which are notoriously bad and have received mention far and wide. Cassara demystifies them by characterising their product as “analysis by the pound” and their operation as “analysis by hitting the print button”. FinCEN does have access to many different databases, but it seems to conduct “analysis” by doing little more than dumping their contents in once place and binding them together. Little, if any, actual “analysis” is done. Instead of concise reports, FinCEN’s “analytical product” has often consisted of boxes and boxes of printouts from databases that are already available to law enforcement agencies.
Cassara was often at odds with FinCEN’s bosses over these and other issues. He spent the end of his career on secondment to the State Department and finally left the US public sector.
‘Talk to my cousin in the bazaar, he will help you’
Even though his tales of FinCEN’s misdeeds are amusing, the real value of Cassara’s book lies in his discussion of trade. He had seen this with the gold trade; he describes a “gold cycle” involving bullion dealers, jewellers and others ranging from Switzerland to Italy to Lebanon.
Cassara realised that the BMPE, a money laundering scheme that started out using the exchange of manufactured goods such as farm equipment and refrigerators to circumvent currency exchange restrictions, was just one of many such “trade-based systems”. Even though criminals still continue to carry briefcases full of cash, many are more comfortable placing orders for building materials.
Cassara points out that the peso exchange, hawala, the East Asian “chop system” and others make up a massive parallel economy. Sometimes it is off the books, sometimes it is out in the open, the preferred way of doing business. In either case, banks and other “traditional” financial institutions play at best a secondary role in the movement of money. Even though the majority of transactions conducted with these systems are legitimate, some are illegitimate. There is no doubt that these systems have been used to launder money and facilitate terrorist finance. Even though financial institutions are regulated to some extent or other almost everywhere, there is far less regulation of businesses, such as jewellers, that are capable of moving just as much money as a bank.
FinCEN is the repository for the SARs that banks make under the US Bank Secrecy Act; the majority of these reports involve transactions of $10,000 or more in cash. Cassara suggested that “gold reports” would help the authorities to track the movement of bullion in and out of the United States. Even though cases abound where gold played a significant role, such a report is not part of the US Bank Secrecy Act.
Practical man, practical book
This is by no means a technical book. Cassara is a gifted storyteller and draws not only on his own years of experience but also on those of his friends and colleagues to explain things. The book also makes sparing use of well-drawn diagrams to explain some of the trade-based laundry systems. Meanwhile, the FinCEN fiasco rumbles on. While American authorities lean heavily on the governments of small countries to upgrade their AML systems, America’s federal FIU is still failing to read more than five per cent of the SARs it receives.
The US does not submit itself to AML inspections by the International Monetary Fund; it made that mistake in 2003 and had to suppress the resulting report, which is still gathering dust somewhere in a federal building. IMF reports are private matters between the IMF and the country its experts are assessing, so FinCEN was safe on that occasion. The organisation nonetheless lives in fear of the day when America’s 7,000-odd banks realise how little it is doing.
I’ve heard that the Xiang Yang Lu sellers have been giving out business cards with new addresses (or is it just websites?) in anticipation of the shutdown. Is this true? I also heard that JiPo Lu is where they are relocating, or at least where another market like Xiang Yang is located. Is this true? The good thing about Xiang Yang is that the people selling were clearly the best of the street sellers, did a great business, had a place to return to every day, knew a little English such as “Oh My God” and “You’ve got to be kidding” if you offered too low a price. Every exchange with them was like crosstalk and I felt like DaShan.
It also seemed clear that these sellers were part of larger organizations, because of the websites, the ability to switch to seasonal merchandise (from T shirts to down jackets) as soon as the weather changed, etc. I would like to know more about those organizations. Does anyone know?
its a pity it have been shutted down
was a nice market, and hope theywill opena similar one soon somewhere else.
of course it had lots of fake, but i can assure u i bought a 100rmb winter jacket in 2003, and did its great job for 1 yr, if bought the original was 3500 in thestore for sure will have stand 5 yr but then look at the difference in price, as well, look at the cost, all those items are produced in CH or SEA, at very cheap price i.e a pair of nike production cost to NIKE is not more then 3.4 USD per pair… and we buy originals at least when lucky at 50USD… as logn firm dont stop those ´huge profitting on the shoulder of underpaid labour often child labour… i welcome fakes, to reduce their arrogant sale approach and often criminal labour for manufacture those products.
Just to tell you that it is true that Xiang yang market is closed down, but there are many other locations where the market will be reopened… from Nanjing Xi lu, Pugond, hongqiao, etc, etc…
I live in shanghai for 2 years, and many otf the shops confired this…
It was said that most of the vendors will relocate in five other markets such as Qipu market, a market near Shanghai Science Museum and other three. XiangYang market has a lot of fans including so many foreigners but it is a black stuff market indeed. Hopefully the disappearance will not decrease attractiveness of the city for travelers.
It’s taking away Chinese jobs!
It was so sad to forward the news of closedown of Xiangyang market to my colleagues. we went to shanghai for business trip in March this year and browsed the xiang yang market which local shanghainese recommend to us. I am from northern city in China and my colleagues are not South-East Asian, therefore the vendors only kept asking them to buy their goods and some abetted me to cheat them and offered me some commission, but I rejected and they scolded me that I didn’t help Chinese! itis really ironically!
QiPu market is not safe to go.
I have just returned from Shanghai. My wife and I just got married in April. She is Indian, so it was her first trip to China. We stayed at HengSheng Penisula Hotel, which is close to the Bund. Her parents and their friends (all US citizens of Indian origin) came to Shanghai as well.
We went to QiPu road for some shopping after learning that they have alot of stuff there. I, being the only Chinese in the group, was thought to be the tour guide by the people (huang niu). They(around 15) of them came up to us, literally pulling and theatening me to take them to their shops. When we refused to go with them, they threatened to beat me up. Some said “you are lucky today that you still have your eyes” as we were escorted out by security officers at QiPu road market. It was one of the scariest moment of my life. Everyone in our group were scared for their safety. I have never encountered this in Shanghai or else where in China. Shanghai is definitely not as safe as it used to be. QiPu road people are stupid in trying to use this tactic to get business. They not only lost me, but pretty much anyone I speak to about my trip. I will never recommend QiPu market. Anyone traveling to Shanghai shouldn’t go to QiPu. Its not well organized, not clean, not safe.
Science and Technology Center is much safer. None of us felt threatened or harassed.
There are some good casual lunch places in the S&T Centre station too, rare for a station.
Try Jingan Xiao Ting, I shop there and get some pretty good deals. Yes, including a stack of fake Armani suits, custom tailored. :p
Where is other market like Xiangyang if it closed. Can you give me some informations where I can buy whole sale rate Home appliance. I am whole sale dealer
jambay from Bhutan
I hate this place!
I hate you because you are a lyer, idiot, moron and dummyhead!