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Grandpa says: That depends on where you want to send the money.
If Africa, go to an African grocery store that sells phone cards & seems to serve denizens of the country you are interested in.
Tell them how much you want to send and where…
Same with Philippines, Central America, South America, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh , etc.
Ethnic grocery stores or phone card stores all do Hawala—It is as common as dirt.
The charges are very cheap, typically around $20 minimum or 2% of the amount sent.
In other words, to send $200 net to the recipient you give the Hawala Banker $220. But for the same $20 fee you can usually send up to $1,000.
This is a guideline. Any outfit can charge what the traffic will bear.
They try to match the competition & beat the rates charged by Western Union for the same service.
If you look and dress like a crew-cut, white shirted, black tie Mormon FBI agent doing a sting, or looking for a bribe, they will probably tell you to buzz off. Otherwise, you hand them the cash, and the designated recipient gets it delivered in cash within 24 hours in Cochabamba, Dacca, Nairobi, Tegucigalpa or where-ever.
My Chinese friend simply went to the local Triad or Chinese Mafia. They charged him 8-15% to “move” his money to Canada, via “non-traditional” means.
Since they are international, they just give you the money you turn in at one location in China and deliver to you in Canada at another minus ‘juice’ apparently its very common underground service.
Your guy got ripped off it seems to me.
Hawala is as common as dirt and available in any sizable town.
Vancouver BC Canada probably has several hundred Hawala outlets able to send or receive money from any town in China.
Rich mainland Chinese who have never traveled abroad are not well informed generally . I suppose they are an easy mark for criminals who screw those who are not yet internationalized.
Dealing with a Triad (dope & white-slave dealers)
I am surprised he got anything!
Those mainland Chinese with relatives in Prato, Italy, Vancouver or any of the new huge diaspora China-towns have great contacts & can accomplish their objectives very inexpensively and fast.
I think Budapest Hungary now has a big Bank of China branch for transfers anywhere from Yuan into Euros. Chinese banks may be much cheaper than Hawala.
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