Coal cracked, coke uncovered

Thursday, 28 August, 2014

An odd one this, more of an aside than an article but notable as an excellent case study of one of the more esoteric risks associated - or potentially associated - with the extractives markets.

One of the key by products from coal is coke… can you see where this is going? 

Yup: we learnt today via the BBC that police in Peru have apparently seized over three tonnes of cocaine hidden in a Europe-bound coal shipment.

All its mining strengths aside Peru is also the world's top coca grower - having overtaken Colombia in 2012 - but even so counter-narcotics police chief Vicente Romero said this was the largest bust in the country so far this year.

According to Interior Minister Daniel Urresti, the coke was stashed in football-sized lumps of coal destined for Spain and Belgium. Stick that one in your pipe and... OK we'll stop now.