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Adulterated drug: the retail sale of cocaine in the AMBA, a business of half a million dollars a day

El Conurbano woke up on Wednesday with a batch of adulterated cocaine that became a time bomb. As the hours passed, the number of deaths from its consumption grew: a day later, there are already more than 23 deaths. In addition, there are still about 80 boarding schools. But the case uncovered other numbers: those of the millionaire retail business in the Metropolitan Area.

The news alerted the Ministry of Security of the Province of Buenos Aires. It was Sergio Berni who initiated the official “harm reduction” message: those who had bought drugs between Monday and Tuesday were asked to discard the substance.

The minister also gave some clues about drug dealing, an activity that moves half a million dollars a day.

“Between the Capital and the Greater Buenos Aires there is a sale of about 200 thousand doses every dayBerni said in an interview with Rivadavia. He added: “It sounds like a shocking number but I can assure you that I am giving you the floor of what is calculated“.

There are already more than 20 deaths from adulterated cocaine. Photo Luciano Thieberger

The dose of half a gram of cocaine is obtained on the street at a price ranging from 350 pesos to 700 pesos, according to what was reported by police sources to Telam. The one that was sold in the Puerta 8 neighborhood, due to its high degree of adulteration, is close to the cheapest value.

Taking into account the differences between the different AMBA points, the average value of half a gram of cocaine is 500 pesos. That value opens the way to a multiplication that gives a dimension of the drug business in only one of its legs.

Quick accounts: the sale of cocaine in the AMBA moves 100 million pesos per day. In blue listing, it represents $465,116 per day.

In other words, the retail sale of cocaine in the City and the first two rings of the Conurbano amounts to $19,379 per hour, $13,953,480 per month, $169,767,340 per year.

According to estimates by Sergio Berni, the retail sale of cocaine moves half a million dollars a day.  Photo Luciano Thieberger

According to estimates by Sergio Berni, the retail sale of cocaine moves half a million dollars a day. Photo Luciano Thieberger

“Between the City and the suburbs, first and second cordon, there is a daily sale of more or less 200 or 250 thousand doses. Imagine that 0.1% of that is poisoned, we are talking that this morning we could have 2,500 deaths“, Berni explained about the message that the Province of Buenos Aires downloaded so that the buyers discard the drug that they have acquired in the last hours.

“It’s not a drug war”

Berni ruled out this Thursday morning that the adulterated drug episode was a “narco war”, one of the hypotheses handled by the investigators.

“We arrested the leader of the gang responsible for distributing this drug. The detainee is the successor of ‘Mameluco Villalba,'” he said in relation to the arrest of Joaquín Aquino, better known as “Paisa”, the man captured this Thursday at dawn .

He also said that the situation “is under control” and that “all hospitalized patients bought the drug at Gate 8.” In the first hours there was concern about the scope that the distribution could have, since -according to Berni himself- it did not seem that the drug was divided or “stretched” in the raided bunker in Tres de Febrero, dedicated to retail.

“As the days go by, someone can have this and consume it next week in Villa Gesell, Mar del Plata, another place in the country, and not be prevented. Unfortunately, we are going to find out from the people who fall,” The attorney general of San Martín, Marcelo Lapargo, explained his concern on Wednesday in statements to TN.

Hours later, the case uncovered shocking numbers of a millionaire business.



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