Not again!

They never do manage to get this value of drugs right, do they?

In Argentina and Brazil, police seized a total of 3.4 metric tonnes of cocaine ready for shipment across the Atlantic. The drugs were wrapped in sealed one kilogram packets bearing Donald Duck logos, each worth £42,000 at street level – a total of £142.8 million pounds.

£40 a gramme sounds about right for the street value (as The Magistrate recently pointed out) but there\’s two things here. First is that goods wholesale are worth rather less per unit than goods retail. For the obvious reason that goods need to be retailed.

The second is that drugs in Brazil aren\’t worth the same amount as drugs in Spain. Because the very act of getting the drugs from Brazil to Spain adds a lot of value to them.

Now you can piece this together from that paragraph there. But the headline is simply wrong, isn\’t it?

Police seize £143 million of cocaine in international operation
Cocaine worth more than £143 million – nearly half of it headed for Britain – has been seized in one of the biggest drug busts in history.

For if it was worth £143 million sitting in Brazil, the same amount as it would be worth retail in the UK, why was anyone going through the process of trying to smuggle it into the UK? Why not just sell it in Brazil for that £143 million?

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