Scramble for old charcoal irons

01 Apr, 2011 - 20:04 0 Views
Scramble for old charcoal irons

The Herald

reports that they are fetching several thousands of United States dollars each on the international market.
Some people are virtually scrounging for these irons in rural and urban areas, offering up to US$2 000 for one.
The frenzy has even spread to the social network Face-book, with “buyers” promising to pay a fortune on the spot.
Reports say the irons are needed for melting abroad. They are reportedly fetching highly from agents in Germany, Italy and Britain who need them for as yet unknown reasons.
The irons that are on demand are those marked “Made in Germany” or “Italy” and are believed to be valued for their base.
Reports say buyers test genuineness of the charcoal iron with a razor blade which should be magnetically attracted to the base.
The buyers reportedly resell the irons for up to US$5 000 each overseas.
Other reports say foreigners who used to buy diamonds illegally in Chiadzwa are the ones offering the “outrageous” prices.
A driver with a Harare-based company, who refused to be identified, said he knows of a buyer who offered US$2 000 or a second hand car in exchange for one iron whose base is “in good condition.”
“I don’t know where this buyer resells the irons, but if they are in good condition, he pays US$2 000 on the spot or a good second hand car,” he said.
A cross-border trader, who also refused to be identified, said he secured three irons from his rural home in Uzumba and sold them for US$6 000.
Indications are that primary buyers are offering US$100 per iron. Unconfirmed reports indicate that some buyers are now after three-legged pots from the past.
An engineer with the Industrial Development Corpora-tion, Eng Paul Bhebhe, said they heard the rumour.
“I cannot be in a position to comment on the exact composition of the material used to make these old irons, especially the base.
“However, charcoal irons manufactured by Marondera Foundry these days are made from chrome and have a base of cast iron. These old irons on demand should have been imported,” said Eng Bhebhe.
It has since emerged that some criminal elements are using fake notes to buy the irons from unsuspecting people.
Police in Rusape have arrested three suspects who were on the prowl in Manicaland allegedly buying the charcoal irons using fake money.
The three have since appeared in court facing fraud charges.
In some urban areas like Marondera, enterprising buyers were exchanging the old irons with brand new electrical irons.

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