Record haul



July 2004

Five face $40m drug conspiracy charges

Five men appeared in Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with conspiring to import cannabis with an estimated street value of $40 million.  The court heard it was the largest stash of cannabis in the Island’s history, with a total weight of 2,000 lbs.

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We had initially presumed the police had actually intercepted theis massive haul of cannabis.  This is not the case. All that has been provided is the allegedly self-incriminating statements of some of the defendants and related paraphernalia - including an impounded charter fishing boat.  Our sincere thanks to those who have corrected this article.

So Bermuda is now to prosecute on this type of evidence.  Odd, they did not in 1989 when Colin Smith was arrested - an enquiry involving a sergeant (now - 2004 - Commissioner of Police!) Smith.   A précis of the case can be found under the heading 'Jon-boy Smith'  and the police diary entries for the arrest and subsequent activity can be found by clicking on  June 1989 diary.  despite the author of this site obtaining a confession from Colin Smith, the case was never proceeded with.  Just who is protecting whom on the island?

With regard to the latest seizure, if the supply is is representative of the demand, either there are some heavy users / abusers of cannabis on the island, or many small time participants!  Just how did the importers expect to keep such a large amount secret on an island of 60,000 inhabitants, many of whom would 'grass' (inform on) someone to avoid prosecution if caught with an trivial amount?  Is anyone on the island looking at the bigger picture?

It sounds as is the venture was in its preparatory state.  Let's see who appears in Court next in connection with this ... if anyone.

With this little group, the place to start looking is  the finances; the logistics of this operation were substantial.  A problem with Bermuda though is that they have historically had an inability to see beyond their own noses; lack of expertise, initiative, imagination and desire or incentive (on the part of some)?

How does the weight of 2000 lbs seized represent $40,000,000?  Easily, one only need do the maths by reference to values detailed at the linked page (cannabis) to understand the figures and the incredible profits.  For simplicity, the calculation is as follows:

Firstly, pounds and ounces are the units of measure generally associated with larger amounts in Bermuda, grams are generally the street weights.  Therefore, the $40,000,000 cited is a street value which is extremely misleading as it is hardly likely the importers would then ply their wares personally.  However, to assist ...

  • a kilo is about 2.2 lbs (pounds in weight)
  • there are 16 ounces to every pound
  • one ounce is 28.3495321 grams.

now consider how the drug is sold on the street in Bermuda; by the half gram in a manila envelope for $25.  Amazingly, the price has not gone up in over 10 years suggesting that the supply has increased (basic application of the rules of supply and demand).  Using the above facts, the calculation is undertaken:

2,000.00   lbs imported
16.00   Ounces to a pound
32,000.00   Total ounces
28.3495231   grams per ounce
907,184.74   grams
1,814,369.48   half grams street denomination
$25.00   per half gram
$45,359,236.96   Total

which is about 30 half gram bags per head of population, at a cost of about $750 per head.

and what do you think the importers paid for the drug? In that bulk, who knows, ua$1000 per kilo?  If so, there being 2.2 lbs to the kilo, the costs was a little shy of $1,000,000.  A substantial amount, but look at the profit (at street level).  We would suggest that the drug was far more likely to be sold off in pounds (lbs) or half ponds.  A half pond weight would sell for about $2300 in the summer, but the importers could afford to take less to move the quantities.  If sold at $2,000 per half pound, the figures are as follows:

909.09   200lbs = kilos
$1,000.00   price paid per kilo
$909,090.91   total price paid
2,000.00   total pounds imported
$4,000.00   sold at per pound (lb)
$8,000,000.00   total sale
$7,090,909.09   profit

the above figures do not take into account the costs associated with the operation however, the cost of the drug  may have been considerably lower than that quoted.

Possibly it is time for Bermuda to consider just how a big a drug problem they have!

For articles on the cannabis trade (outside of Bermuda) , click on the following links:




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