45-year-old Nwee Van Ninh has been employed by the South Vietnamese Government for thirteen years.?
GV Ninh on motor bike
MV Ninh bathing child (2 shots)
GV Ninh into office and sits at desk (2 shots)
MV Ninh bargaining for cigarettes at market (5 shots)
MV Ninh arrives at wife's market stall and hands over good (4 shots)
MV Ninh and family eat (7 shots)
CU Ninh's sister and her son eat
GV Family eating
Initials DC/DW/BJ DC/DW/MH
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Background: 45-year-old Nwee Van Ninh has been employed by the South Vietnamese Government for thirteen years. He is now a security officer for the Ministry of Information, but with a salary of only 18-thousand piasters a month (150 US dollars) he says he has been forced to turn to the black market to provide money to keep his wife and fourteen children.
Ninh has lived half his life under wartime conditions. In 1955 he fled from Hanoi with his family with hopes of finding a better life in Saigon. However, on his salary from the Government, found it impossible to buy ow uniforms, provide his own transportation and feed his family.
About three days a week Ninh now visits the black market in Bien Hoa, a suburb of Saigon. There he bargains for American goods, cigarettes, soap powder and C-Rations.
Ninh himself is a black marketeer. He buys several cartons of cigarettes at the market for around 5 dollars (two pounds) a carton and sells them in Saigon for 6 dollars (GBP2. 8. 0. ) making a profit of a dollar per carton. His markup on other items in approximately the same.
Ninh's black market outlet in Saigon is a sidewalk stand operated by his wife and is just like hundreds of others, that peddle American goods at exorbitant prices. Ninh says this family business brings him another 150 dollars a month.
Ninh's entire government salary is spent on food. Rice is the basic food and Ninh's family requires more than 200 pounds a month. Because of a rice shortage most of it is bought on the black market. In the past year the price of rice has almost doubled.