Thassa Lotta Coke

A Japanese man with 246 packets of cocaine in his stomach and intestines died mid-flight on his way from Bogota to Tokyo, authorities have said in northern Mexico where the plane made an emergency landing.


An autopsy found the man had swallowed 246 packets of cocaine, each measuring 1cm by 2.5cm. The cause of death was swelling of the brain caused by a drug overdose, prosecutors said.

We don’t get the third number to be able to calculate the volume. But I’ve got, if it’s 1 cm for that third, 600 cubic centimetres of cocaine. I’ll lost track of the zeros if I try to work through that but that is a lotta coke, isn’t it?

17 thoughts on “Thassa Lotta Coke”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ll bow to bis’s knowledge as I’ve never seen coke in the wild, but what am I missing here?

    600cc is 0.6L. If it was water that would be 0.6kg. Is coke really 2.5x density of water?

  2. I suppose mules flying *to* Japan have to be Japs, because they won’t let in wops and dagos?

  3. I’ve worked with the common hydrochloride salt in the past (always legitimately as a pharmacist). It’s crystal form and appearance is a very flat, lightweight flakey powder, in practical comparison terms, it’s akin to something like sucralose (Splenda artificial sweetener) than say table salt. The specific density should be available in one of the many reference monographs, or try Martindale – The Extra Pharmacopoeia which is one of the best pharmaceutical publications available.

  4. I thought 1.5kgs seemed a lot, but the internet tells me people have swallowed up to 5 pounds (2.3kgs).

    Coke is 3 times as expensive in Japan as in the UK so if what was smuggled was pure, the street value could be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    A gramme of weed can be £40 in Tokyo!!

  5. @BinND
    Ignore Tim’s “third figure”. The 1 cm is a diameter, not the side of a square. No-one swallows bricks. Probably inside condoms. I’m working on 2 1/2cm x 1 cm is roughly what a 5gm wrap looks like. And I’ve seen enough of those floating about. They’re ubiquitous, these days. 5gm streets at £250. But that’ll be cut from the puro with a bulker. So add some.
    But, as everything reported about drugs is complete bollocks, could be half that or twice that. Odd really. The journalist community are noted users. As are the police, for that matter. But they both seem to have problems with arithmetic. Maybe there’s a connection.

  6. Assuming a shape like a sausage 2.5cm long, I get a total volume of about 420cc. On BiS’s valuation, that doesn’t seem worth the risk, but then drug mules are usually desperate.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    Thanks, bis, that seems plausible, especially looking at what MC’s written.

  8. bloke in spain
    No idea if they still do, but druggies back in the 1970s always used to say that the police/customs claims of the street value of drug seizures were vastly, by several times, overinflated.

    I guess there were several obvious benefits for the drug squads: to make themselves look more successful/essential, to get offenders higher sentences, to scare the public, to get more resources… etc, and few obvious dis-benefits.

  9. JS, they still do.

    But I have to say, the detail provided by police expert witnesses of values usually allows for price fluctuations over time and as between different areas and reflects variations driven by purity (purity also being held to be a reflection of proximity to the original source). This kind of evidence also draws on a far wider database of information than most dealers themselves have access to – so I don’t find their criticisms more than mildly problematic.

    Of course, the dealers have an interest in talking down the rozzers’ estimates just as the rozzers have an interest in talking them up.

  10. The main problem with police “over-inflation” of drugs value is they use the “retail” street value of cocaine for what is essentially a “wholesale” transaction.

    Just because street price of cocaine per gram is £30-40 per gram doesn’t mean that you can just multiply that value to a wholesale shipment of cocaine (higher purity aside) by 1,000 and say “We’ve nabbed 100 KG of cocaine with a street value of 3.5 million quid”. It doesn’t work that way.

    The wholesale value of 1 KG of cocaine from Colombia to Europe is somewhere in the range of £10,000 – £15,000 per KG than £30,000 – £40,000, so Police drug prices are effectively inflated by around 3 to 4 times reality.

  11. @Edward Lud
    May 28, 2019 at 7:44 am

    suppose mules flying *to* Japan have to be Japs, because they won’t let in wops and dagos?

    I’ve lived in Japan for 18 years and have no problems leaving or entering, but, I don’t fail the “thick cunt test”.

    Maybe that’s your problem.

  12. JG, in their expert evidence they use both values.

    Mr in Japan, it is possible you misunderstand me. Although somewhat more restrictive than I would like, the Jap policy on immigration seems to me to be a sensible one. Of course I am aware that some gaijins get in – I had a Kentish pal who was one. But my impression is that they are far less keen on immigration from very poor countries. Likewise, because we have few restrictions in practice, mules to LHR tend to be from the countries from which they bring the stuff.

  13. If it’s coming in from Colombia its probably paste not powder, I’d have thought, and probably compressed quite densely.

    Probably a horrible way to go.

  14. Japan lets lots of poor people in. The real difference is that it is extremely difficult to become a Japanese citizen. You can live in Japan for decades and learn to speak and write Japanese better than lots of natives, but still be refused. Your children might be born in Japan and know nothing of their ethnic heritage, but do something wrong and all of you get kicked out back to India – happened to someone I know

  15. In China it’s impossible to get citizenship unless you are ethnically Chinese and next to impossible to get more than a 5 year residence permit. I’ve been here 10 years or so and can only get 2 years at a time. You can build a life here but once you hit 65 you can fuck off home.

    Thankfully most foreigners wouldn’t want it anyway.

    Still, good for them I say.

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