THE CARIBBEAN: The Traffickers

Every week an old U.S. Navy crash boat, renamed the Marlin, shoves off from Fort-de-France, Martinique. Aboard are 4O-odd brightly turbaned native women, carrying demijohns and wicker baskets and headed for the British island of St. Lucia, a five-hour ride across the choppy blue Caribbean.

At Castries, capital of St. Lucia, the Marlin's chattering passengers quickly pass through British customs. They pay a 50¢-a-gallon tariff on the French wine in their demijohns, but none on the high-duty Martinique rum hidden in their baskets. Ashore, they barter or sell their wine and rum, then go shopping. St. Lucia has the foodstuffs...

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