The Price of Cocaine

Cocaine

I am always intrigued about the quoted price of illicit products when they are sized.

Today, we have a news piece from the Royal Navy that 680kg of cocaine (that they recently seized) was worth an estimated street value of £100m

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/August/14/130814-Lancaster-drug-haul

So how is that price derived, is it based on the value per gram to an end user or the wholesale price before adulteration and on which streets are we talking about?

A recent haul of exactly the same amount in the Dominican Republic was quoted as having a value of £40m, was this UK street prices or something else?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299316/40million-cocaine-aboard-private-jet-owned-London-based-French-tycoon.html

That is some difference and of course £100m sounds better than £40m

Frank reckons that the UK street price of cocaine is £43 per gram which would put a 680kg load at about £28.5m, certainly less than £40 and most very definitely less than £100m.

What purity though, is that at 50-70% pure or so far adulterated that it is down to 10%

The United Nations has the UK street price (2010) at just under £40 per gram which would seem to be roughly on par with the Government sponsored Frank website.

Wholesale trans-shipment, where the Royal Navy intercepted the supply chain, will of course have a lower price but likely higher purity.

Generally speaking, more questions than answers but when quoting the financial benefit of drugs interdiction perhaps the MoD should be a little more circumspect because on face value, it looks like someone is over egging the pudding**

** Accepting I know four fifths on nothing about how the figure was derived!

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