Police intercepted cocaine smuggled inside hollowed-out coffee beans

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/21/police-intercepted-cocaine-smu.html


Now that’s morning go juice!


Yo dawg, I heard you like stimulants


A 2-in-1 package deal of what makes the modern world go round. A painstaking example of some lateral thinking at work.


I always forget that cocaine is not some fiction from Miami Vice. It has played zero part in my life.

I mean … I had never thought of there being a subculture around it. But I suppose I should have expected that since having watched the rise of cannabis subculture.


Sanka 4


Cracked.com did a nice take on the story


People are idiots. Maybe fight the urge to make stupid jokes when your business and your freedom depend on doing so?

I mean, I’m glad they didn’t, but still.


How can this possibly be good business? Coffee beans are tiny. Someone had to razor blade these, then hollow them out with a dremel tool, I guess? So time consuming for such trivial quantities.


Labour’s cheap in Colombia


I think you could automate this with an Arduino, a couple of servos, an old bar coffee grinder with some part modified and others made with a 3d printer.


At something like $100 a gram in street prices a lot becomes possible. So a coffee bean can probably hold .05 grams (about half the weight of a bean). Call it 30 seconds to drill, fill, and tape (No need for a razor followed by a Dremel, one hole drilled will work). You’re looking at a day’s work for 3 people. With Columbia’s low labor cost that would only be less than the cost of a gram for packaging. If they’re doing it at scale and can invest in little plastic tubes to keep the beans straight and a drill press, they can get it even lower. Under 1% packaging costs actually are pretty competitive.


I bet they only did it because these were decaff coffee beans.


You just destroyed my fantasy of artisanal cocaine smuggling. And here I thought they were drilling the beans for the love of the craft.


The ideas shared here to optimize the coffee bean preparation process are brilliant, yet it does not change the fact that a parcel coming from Colombia with a bag of coffee beans will at least trigger some interest by any customs officer who deserves that title. So all the work to conceal the cocaine in coffee beans is totally useless because the choice of transport is more than vulnerable to draw attention, which will reveal the coffee beans secret very quick if looked at … at least that’s what was on my mind going through the comments

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I think you’re probably right, but it’s worth noting how many layers of markup there are between Colombia and a street price. The organization packing these is only realizing a fraction of the final street price. But as you say, the cost of labor in Colombia is probably very, very low. I am constantly astounded at what constitutes a profitable business some places. We think of a penny as the smallest possible unit of commerce, but there can be galaxies of commerce inside a penny. For a while on Ebay you could order a three pack of knives shipped from China for less than $3, all in. Take 15% off the top for Ebay fees, and use most of the rest for shipping cost, and that doesn’t leave much for making and packing the knives. But it was good business for them somehow.

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…customs officers recognized the name of the recipient: Santino D’Antonio. That is the name of the mob boss in the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

Ha! Now I’m picturing customs officers laboriously consulting an enormous ‘naughty’ scroll: Tony Montana, Emilio Barzini, Tony Soprano, Carlos Ayala, Frank Lucas, etc


On this site… and not one person complaining that it would completely fuck up the taste of the coffee and being mad at the smugglers.

I am disappointed in you all.


Small batch artisinal blend hand cured by Juan Valdez