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  #21  
Old 28.11.2011, 20:17
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

There used to be an Asian restaurant in the centre of Bern, at Markthalle, downstairs on the left. http://www.markthalle-bern.ch/food In two years I never saw a customer, maybe because the prices on the menu were very high. I can only assume they were laundering money there.
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Old 28.11.2011, 20:23
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

My thoughts entirely on many occasions.
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Old 28.11.2011, 22:43
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

to add to these, i suggest we go with the hand made woooden toy shops with models so old that looks creepy/scary:P of course prices are quite steep as they are handmade..
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Old 29.11.2011, 12:21
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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There is a shop in town that has a lovely display of... nozzles... in the window.

That's it.

I have no idea what the business does. Is it retail outlet selling to the nozzle-buying public? Is it a manufacturer of specialty nozzles? Experts in nozzle installation? Purveyors of nozzle advice?

Haven't had a chance to ask, as the store never seems to be open. (But the display is regularly dusted, so I think it's a going concern.)

One supposes in summer you'd see mozzies nuzzling the nozzles.
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Old 29.11.2011, 12:27
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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In two years I never saw a customer, maybe because the prices on the menu were very high. I can only assume they were laundering money there.
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My thoughts entirely on many occasions.
I'm not really familiar with the details of money laundering, but don't you have to at least come close to breaking even to have it make sense......if you wanted to clean up your books by losing money, you could just.....you know.....throw it away, no?


(Biting my tongue a little at the slight flavour of sexism and racism which crept in here eg the failing business owned by a woman must be hubby's money, the business owned by Asians must be money laundering etc etc. Nobody suggested that the middle aged Swiss man selling nozzles was trading on their wife's fortune or cleaning up proceeds of drugs!)
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Old 29.11.2011, 12:49
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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There used to be an Asian restaurant in the centre of Bern, at Markthalle, downstairs on the left. http://www.markthalle-bern.ch/food In two years I never saw a customer, maybe because the prices on the menu were very high. I can only assume they were laundering money there.
Not far from where I lived there was a tiny shop with just one cheap plastic table and four cheap plastic chairs and a counter and no other furniture or decorations except a nudie calendar and a faded picture of a motorbike that had been cut out of the newspaper. I never saw anybody go inside there but there was an elderly East Asian (probably Thai) woman sitting at the counter on rare occasions and looking extremely bored. Different signs on, next to and above the door indicated it was a Thai restaurant, a party service, and wait for it, a workshop for repairing electric motors.
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  #27  
Old 29.11.2011, 12:53
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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I'm not really familiar with the details of money laundering, but don't you have to at least come close to breaking even to have it make sense......if you wanted to clean up your books by losing money, you could just.....you know.....throw it away, no?
Unless your back-room business makes so much money that what your front-room business loses is insignificant.
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  #28  
Old 29.11.2011, 13:02
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

There's a small clothing shop in Zollikerberg that sells clothes like Tom Tailor and Switcher. I hardly ever see anyone going in. There's also a knife store next to it and an electronics shop in Waldburg. I really wonder how they manage to exist in my tiny village populated by mostly older folks. And an S-bahn gets you to the centre of Zurich in 10 min.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:45
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

The city of Zurich's most famous case is the store on Lowenstrasse opposite madonna.

As i understand it, a long running feud has been going on between owner and the city.

The stores a mess, sells old army type clothing and outfits, the building needs renovating and the woman is a bit cranky. But she owns the lot, and will not sell. She maybe makes 100CHF a week max if that.

But she doesnt want to sell, and shes actually a very nice lady if a bit cranky. Shes aware she is sitting on 100's of millions, and could be on a beach somewhere living the good life, but she is content running this tat store, with her "daughter" who doesnt seem to really be her daughter, wearing old jumpers with holes in them.

Just round the corner from that is a bike and snowboard store, never see them sell anything. Call me cynical, but I think there are many money laundering establishments in the city.

I am working on a marriage proposal.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:47
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

I'm amazed at the number of hairdressers. Was talking to my barber the other day and he said Nyon has 55 hair salons.

What's even more amazing is that they manage to come up with puns as business names for almost all of them.

Now, my barber is smart. He's the only 'real' man-barber in town, and is cutting non stop all day every day.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:50
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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I'm amazed at the number of hairdressers. Was talking to my barber the other day and he said Nyon has 55 hair salons.
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I smell BS. How would a barber know about hairdressers???... ehhh....

*your honor, instruct the witness to answer
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  #32  
Old 29.11.2011, 13:58
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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I'm not really familiar with the details of money laundering, but don't you have to at least come close to breaking even to have it make sense......if you wanted to clean up your books by losing money, you could just.....you know.....throw it away, no?
I agree that a business with no obvious customers is probably not a very good money laundry.

To launder large-ish amounts of cash, you need a good explanation for lots of cash coming in. One business I was involved in dismantling as a junior (some two decades ago now) was a pizza restaurant were new owners came in, stripped the decor, simplified the menu (e.g. only canned drinks and two cheap house wines, red and white), banned payment by card, and started to sell every pizza at the same - and very low - price. Within days, the place was rammed all day and all night long, with queues out the door. In fact, it was set up by a group of drug dealers who needed a good explanation where all these used banknotes came from. The cash systems were set up to register two transactions in place of one every time, and they topped up the missing cash with drug money. They were only found out when the taxman became suspicious about the amount of ingredients they purchased. It just seemed they weren't buying enough mozzarella cheese to top all those pizzas! Although the taxman initially thought about a vast mozzarella-smuggling syndicate rather than money laundring.
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  #33  
Old 29.11.2011, 14:02
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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I smell BS. How would a barber know about hairdressers???... ehhh....

*your honor, instruct the witness to answer
Dude, the barber knows everything that happens here. And he's Italian. They're all , you know.
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  #34  
Old 29.11.2011, 16:58
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

I've often thought many such stores must be daytime hobbies for landlords and similar subsidised by miscellaneous apartment damages charges! I don't think that is necessarily a purely cynical view and suspect there may be something to it knowing a few here who kind of don't really need to work for a living as they have inherited now incredibly valuable property. After all its not many places in the world where an apartment in a semi-rural location commonly swaps hands for over a million dollars.

Certainly many such shops cannot be profitable businesses as I have watched many of the busier and more practical smaller retailers being forced out of business in recent years.

I would like to add that I do love that these places exist - in a western world full of a restricted number of corporate retailers its great to find a few shops that would be at home in a Harry Potter street!
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  #35  
Old 29.11.2011, 19:37
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

There's a bagpipe shop in Reihen here in BS. I always thought it might cash in on repairs during the Basel Tattoo (which is totally bizarre to someone who used to live in Edinburgh).
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  #36  
Old 30.11.2011, 17:40
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

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I'm amazed at the number of hairdressers. Was talking to my barber the other day and he said Nyon has 55 hair salons.

What's even more amazing is that they manage to come up with puns as business names for almost all of them.

Now, my barber is smart. He's the only 'real' man-barber in town, and is cutting non stop all day every day.
Me too. Our little town has 3 banks and 3 supermarkets but more than 12 hair salons.
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Old 30.11.2011, 17:57
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Re: How do they make a living? Odd commercial ventures

There's a small Tennis shop in Altstetten that sells trainers & rackets for about 3 times the price of the big Migros Sport X directly opposite it's front door.
I've walked past it almost daily for nearly 2 years, & I have only ever seen about 2 or 3 people in it (separately) - even in the height of summer.
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