“Your notes are mutilated, we don’t accept this money. It must be without any dent,” the Russia bank cashier told The Guardian when he wanted to change his dollars to roubles.
The usual practice in Nigerian banks is to stamp any dollar purchased by their customers to indicate they are legitimate. But In Russia, such practice is seen as mutilation of the currency and therefore condemns the money.
An official of a bank in the Pribalstiyskaya area of St. Petersburg told The Guardian that Russian banks don’t accept such currencies as a means of exchange because it is seen as bad notes.
“Why do you have to write things or stamp money. It is not right to mutilate currencies. Once it is not counterfeit, we have a way of ascertaining whether a bank note is genuine or not, we accept it,” she said.
The Guardian had to change over $3,000 in the open market at lower rates than what obtains in banks before he could get roubles for his daily activities.
Another strange law in Russia is that it is an offence for anybody to buy or sell alcohol after 10.00 p.m.
A store assistant in St. Petersburg refused to sell some drinks to some members of the Nigeria Supporters Club because it was already after 10.00 p.m.
He explained that one could go to jail if caught selling or buying alcoholic drinks after the stipulated time.
According to the store assistant, most of the attendants and cashiers in Russian shops are either secret service members or affiliated to the security agencies.
“They monitor everything going on and can effect arrest of any offender at any time,” he said.