Articles and Analysies
Scandalous Pipes Market Disaster or the Ponzi scheme in El-Fasher By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
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May 5, 2010 - 12:05:24 AM

Scandalous Pipes Market Disaster or the Ponzi scheme in El-Fasher

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

The infamous Pipes Market in Darfur is a major Financial disaster in El-Fasher endorsed by president Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, planned and implemented by Osman Mohammed Yousif Kibir the Governor of Northern Darfur State with a sinister intention to unjustly consume the wealth of the Sudanese people in Darfur and beyond as part the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) tactics and strategies for the impoverishment of the targeted citizens in that part of the country. What has happened in El-Fasher is beggars’ belief and can not be imagined. The notion ‘Pipes Market’ is a reference to the deceptiveness fraudulence and corrupt ion of this market. It is a neologistic term recently introduced into the Sudanese Arabic daily jargon as a political satire and an euphemism for the extremes of Fraud and slander that is exercised by the Government of the National Congress Party (NCP) in the afflicted country of Sudan.

After the National Congress Party (NCP) burned thousands of villages, killed half a million citizens, poisoned water sources, driving millions of people of Sudan in Darfur out of their homes to reside in IDP or refugee camps, the Islamist entity in Khartoum considers that crime is not sufficient for punishing the people of Darfur, and it must be extended to make    the devastation felt by every individual belonging to the in Darfur region. The National Islamic Front (NIF) regime began with the evil plan of impoverishing the Darfurian financially wherever they are. The initial target was the drying up Libya Market in Omdurman where entrepreneurs from Darfur ran Profitable investments in the pretext that the so called Libyan Market was no more than market intended to support the Darfur armed movements and money laundering. Accordingly, billions of pounds of those innocent law abiding citizens were confiscated and based on that excuse, the NCP Security elements shut down dozens of shops and along with the cancellation of hundreds of licenses. Furthermore, the regime still found out that was not an enough punishment to deter the determined people of Darfur from demanding their legitimate citizenship rights. The June 1989 Coup d’état Government of NCP but started to chase the Darfuris working in various State institutions subjecting hundreds of army officers to the forced retirement without the right to receive pensions.  The same policy was applied to the Darfuri in the civil service and thousands of them lost their jobs without compensation on the pretext of belonging to the armed movements. This damned NCP government policy of Systematic displacement and impoverishment forced a large number of people from Darfur to migrate into the unknown in the Diaspora.   Those whose bad luck and doomed fate and went to some Gulf  Arab states to seek jobs and better working conditions have been charged with inciting hatred towards an Arab League member (Government of Sudan) and  dozens of Darfuris had to leave the countries where they worked and ran business. In the same pretext and justification the Arab States extradited them or expel them without having committed any prove. Nevertheless, they had to leave otherwise they would be handed over to the Khartoum regime for torture and rendition.

When the NCP in Khartoum found out the resilience of the people of Sudan in Darfur in the face of hardship and that the regime has exhausted all types of harmful methods against the Darfuris without success it, the government, resorted to another demonic planning. This time is the use of the method of dispossession in which the regime to deprive the urban population of the cities from their homes, land, vehicles, Crops, jewelry, livestock and all that of value belonging to a Darfurian.   To do so, the regime adopted the Ponzi scheme. In June 2009 the residents of the city of El Fasher were surprised to learn that there were people who buy everything paying three times its market price, particularly cars and houses. They would pay in cash a quarter of the value agreed upon and for the rest a receipt (not a check) is given for a particular time frame.  The first people who initiated this dodgy business were members of the police force of the State of North Darfur. They were Assistant Sergeant Musa Siddiq Musa and Sergeant Adam Ismail Ishag. To start with, the time limit for honoring the amounts of owed money was too short in order to create trust with their victims. What was seemed very bizarre thing was that the offices of the criminals were within the premises of State police. This led to the emergence of long lines of citizens from all walks of life queuing at the Headquarters of the State Police. The news were spread widely very soon and criminal aims began to grow confidence and trust in the hearts of customers for as long as the police themselves were the sponsors of the process.

This fantasy market started to grow gradually with amplified purchases of cars and houses in the beginning of the market and later to include gold, silver and all kinds of jewelry and plates and teacups and all household utensils, camels, sheep and all kinds of livestock. Crops such as sorghum, millet and all agricultural crops, sugar, cooking oil, flour and all kinds of goods, bricks, cement and all building materials and tools including (part of broken bricks.

With the increase in the size of business in the Pipe Market the criminal minded sponsors increased time frame for honouring the deferred checks to 45 days. However, the assailants have never allowed a check to get bounced. This had made it easy for those naïve impelled by greed to sell their homes which only worth  true value of 50 Million pounds are valuated for 150 million ponds to get 40 million cash and checks for 110 million to be paid in the near future. Thus, they soon changed the terms and conditions of payment, regardless of the amount of perfection and completeness! The total amount of the money lost through this scum has been estimated as 500 billion pounds, which is the total assets, cash and savings of the state's population. It was reported that when traders in El-Fasher gathered and filed a memorandum to the state government demanding the closure of the market (market pipes) for   the damage caused and the implications of the wholesale, the State Security Committee under the chairmanship of the Governor Osman Mohammad Yousif Kibir   rejected the complaint on the grounds that the alleged damage was not true and that the market is not interest-based (Usury) and in line with the jurisprudence of Islamic (Sharia) banking system! Moreover, it was claimed that the same Committee passed a decree banning the use of the term ‘Pipe Market’ and instead to be called “Mercy Market”! What is more was that the Governor Osman Mohammed Yousif Kibir who was a candidate for a State Wali post during the recent fraudulent Sudanese General Elections promised that if the voters in the State opt to elect him he will guarantee to pay back all the money owed to owners uncompromised. But the governor of North Darfur state reneged on his former promise which he gave it to the citizens during the elections. In the aftermath of this turn of events the citizens who have lost their holdings stages peaceful demonstrations to demand their rights but t the Security Forces the NCP regime   opened a barrage of fire with live ammunition that led to the deaths of innocent people and injuring dozens of them some of them in serious condition. It is ironic that the Governor of the state of North Darfur Osman Mohammed Yousif Kibir and his associates and their families left the city of El Fasher and fled to Khartoum to avoid reprisals from the angry crowd.

Observers say that the scandalous Pipes Market, founded by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in El-Fasher to extort and loot money from citizens is akin to the fraudulent investment known as Ponzi scheme named after the notorious Italian swindler Charles Ponzi, who is considered one of the greatest swindlers in American history. The term "Ponzi scheme" is a widely known description of any dishonest scheme (scam) that pays early investors returns from the investments of later investors. Unfortunately, thousands of innocent people have become gullible victims of this conspiracy that was hatched by the Government of National Congress Party (NCP). It is regrettable that many innocent, but naïve people have fallen victims to this scam. Words of condemnation and denunciation are not enough to deter this autocratic minority government whose president is indicted and some of its associates are fugitives wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Recourse to the courts run by the employees of security apparatus of the regime would be a waste of time and effort. The Government of National Congress Party, led by Marshal Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, will only listen and pays attention the voice of power and armed confrontation, which is the method that should be resorted to in order to get back the rights and the money looted from the citizens. This as well as the supportive role expected from the international community. However, to rely on the international community to respond is in often slow and frustrating and of a limited outcome. Is it true to say that what was taken by force can not be returned without the use of force? That is the $64 Question the answer to which is elusive!

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]


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