Taichung, an area for cutting edge underground operations, offered up a classic for public inspection last month. An allegedly criminal entrepreneur bought 95 octane gas at 20.5 NT a liter and sold for 27.5, 7 NT below the rate in the gas stations. Naturally the place, housed in an abandoned metalshop, was a great favorite with taxi drivers. He even handed out $300 coupons for bringing in new people, printed up business cards, and operated a delivery service. One of the more delightful aspects of Taiwan's gray and illegal businesses is the way they mimic the formalities of legitimate businesses.
How could he have obtained gas for such a low rate? Any number of ways. For example, there is a black market in Taiwan for gasoline for fishing craft, which is sold below the rate for vehicles to help out fishermen. Obviously he is part of a network of some kind -- will the police roll it up?
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