Oops, man panics and snitches on himself about $500 million opium poppy field

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/26/oops-man-panics-and-snitches.html

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If you could grow $500 million worth of opium on 1 acre then the streets of Afganistan would be paved in gold. 2000 pounds of poppy plant is not 2000 pounds of opium. Do all news agencies just repost headlines without a thought these days?

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The police always inflate the value of drugs seizures. If you grow something illegal, they weigh it and estimate value by street price.

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Surely that money goes straight to Dubai, or to personal palaces and armies, though… right?

It’s hard to imagine a drug cartel saying, “You know, we have enough money… it’s time to build libraries, museums, pay for free college education, and have some decent paved streets.”

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Cop math?

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Yeah, $500 million for an acre of anything seems fantastical to me. Otherwise you’d hear about poppy farms getting busted constantly.

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Right, the police weigh the leaves and the roots and the bucket it was growing in and multiply by $35/gram. Because they are the good guys.

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Be cool man, we talked about this, we just grow them to get the seeds for the muffins at the bakery down the street.

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sigh

Go back and search again. The opium field is an obvious cover for the real what-ever that he’s hiding.

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“Umm … I like pretty flowers?”

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Maybe he’s just an innocent Wizard of Oz cosplayer who likes to recreate the poppy scene from the movie!

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Coming straight out with “I guess you’re here for the opium” has got to be a clue.

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Cops like to weigh the dirt and then multiply by a large number - seems legit!

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But even that doesn’t account for this “estimate.” Two thousand pounds at half a billion dollars is still $551 per gram — which is more than the retail street price of a gram of refined heroin.

If this were 2000 lbs of pure heroin, it still wouldn’t be worth half a billion dollars.

And it takes at least 6-7 kilos of raw opium (the harvested latex, not the whole plant) to yield 1 kilo of heroin.

Most “street value estimates” are bullshit, but this is completely preposterous, highly-refined Grade AA bullshit; not the common street variety. (-:

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My dad (who grew up in central Europe in the 30’s) told of parents boiling poppyseeds and giving the extract to their kids to settle them down.

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I totally agree. But in Brunei the street price is $1,330 per gram. So that makes the haul worth $1,205,342,400 right?

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Yeah, I heard about the great bourbon shortage of '32.

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Um, Glen, you’re exhibiting just a liittle bit too much knowledge of the subject matter here…in a public forum

I mean well. I don’t want you to end up like the guy in the article.

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Opium poppies are used to make opium, morphine, codeine, heroin and bagels.

In this case they also seem to have “accidentally” inflated the result by a few orders of magnitude…

Cop math.

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Maybe it’s 500 million yuan? Which still seems nuts at 72 million USD. But within the reach of normal Cop Math.

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