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News > Base officials discuss black marketing, ration control
Base officials discuss black marketing, ration control

Posted 2/27/2008   Updated 2/27/2008 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Alice Moore
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/27/2008 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -- Base officials are cautioning Wolf Pack members to think twice before engaging in black marketing activities. 

Black marketing is the illegal transfer of duty-free goods, said Chad Kale, 8th Security Forces Squadron chief of plans and programs. 

The illegal transfer of the duty-free goods includes when an individual conspires to obtain or attempt to obtain unauthorized favors to procure duty-free or tax-free goods for themselves or others, Mr. Kale said. 

"Access to duty-free goods is a privilege that may be revoked or suspended, if it is abused," Mr. Kale said. 

Special Agent Cinthia Frausto Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 613 said there are indicators that black marketing occurs at Kunsan. Investigators here work closely with security forces to detect and deter black marketing activities on base. 

"We would like to remind personnel here that purchasing items on base for local nationals who are not authorized to purchase items on base is black marketing," she said. 

Agent Frausto said that base personnel who have exchange and commissary privileges shouldn't purchase items on base for resale off base. 

"If caught they will be investigated and can be punished for violations of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice)," she said. 

Mr. Kale said only the area commander or designated representative may revoke, suspend or reinstate access privileges. The revocation or suspension of privileges can be for any time period and even indefinitely. 

"Individuals whose access privileges have been indefinitely suspended may request in writing, for reinstatement to the area commander or designated representative," he said.
However, the written request can only be done once a year. 

United States Forces Korea uses the process of ration control to employ monthly dollar limits based on family size to deter abuse of duty-free or tax-free privileges awarded to Status of Forces Agreement personnel. 

Mr. Kale said Kunsan uses an Army data base that tracks all purchases in Korea called the USKF Personnel Information Management System. Active duty members here at Kunsan use their Common Access Cards as ration control plates when making purchases at the Base Exchange or Commissary. 

Mr. Kale said USFK has a list of watch items. Anyone purchasing watch items in bulk can be subject to investigation. The watch items include hot dogs, short ribs, baby formula, vitamins, supplements, alcohol and cigarettes. 

The commissary dollar limit for unaccompanied personnel is $550 per month. The unused dollar amount becomes voided at the end of the month and may not be carried over to the following month. Alcohol purchases include three units per month for unaccompanied personnel. Liquor is defined as any beverage 20 proof or more. One bottle is counted as one liquor unit. A 1.75 liter bottle of liquor or larger is counted as two units. Also, individuals are not to exceed two cases of beer per day and eight cases of beer per month. Violations require a show cause letter from the commander. 

Mr. Kale said he wanted all personnel on base that it's important to remember why personnel have access to goods here. The items on the installation that are considered limited ration control provide personnel the means to live a normal life while stationed here. 

"If we abuse this system we are not hurting anyone but ourselves," he said.

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