That £1 Billion Cocaine Bust.

Number crunching:

The operation to land £1 billion of cocaine was going like clockwork: the catamaran had glided into position in the Irish Sea and the cargo was being ferried ashore to a remote location, ready for distribution across Britain.

Months of planning suddenly went awry, however, because of the simplest of blunders — somebody put diesel in a petrol engine. The mistake caused an inflatable boat to capsize, tipping dozens of bales of cocaine into the choppy waters and casting one of the drug dealers into the sea.

Tee hee of course, and it happened off Cork (not as good as Kerry, but still). But how much was there?

were jailed for their role in transporting and storing 1 tonne of high-grade cocaine.

A tonne is worth a billion is it?

There\’s a thousand grammes to a kilo, a thousand kilos to a tonne. We\’ve thus got one million grammes here. A billion is one thousand million so each gramme is being valued at £1,000. I agree that I\’m not fully au fait with the costs of cocaine in the retail market but this does sound rather higher than the likely number, doesn\’t it?

The cocaine recovered from the sea was 75 per cent pure. When sold on the street the drug is usually only between 12 and 15 per cent pure. By some estimates the haul could have raised more than £1 billion had it reached the streets.

Even with that we\’re estimating it at £200 a gramme retail. As I say, I don\’t really know the details but that does sound remarkably high.

Plus, of course, we\’ve got the fact that cocaine landed is vastly more valuable than the same material at sea, just as coke packaged into retail units is vastly more valuable than it is in bulk.

6 thoughts on “That £1 Billion Cocaine Bust.”

  1. And for his next trick Tim will work out in his head the price per 16th of an ounce, assuming an imperial ton. Which he’d have to do for cannabis since the legal EU unit for that is 16ths.

    Tim adds: Err, 2,2040 pounds, 12 ounces, x 16…, not in my head, can I use a calculator?

  2. Yes, GS, I was also surprised to find Tim buckling under to the units-of-measure imperialism and hegemony of the US . Probably a case of sheer exhaustion from resisting the same on the part of the EU.

    Of course, in the case of the thousand (million) vs the million (million), we prolly suckered him into it by letting him make his own choice. That usually gets ;’em better than “Ve haff vays uv
    makink you mezir.”

  3. I think the reason the American billion caught on was simply that they were the only people productive enough to be using the number to describe anything other than astrological measurements and state expenditure.

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