And finally… fool’s gold

The Calabrian mafia has allegedly been converting cocaine into “coal” to avoid alerting the authorities when importing the product from Colombia.

The supposed scheme emerged after 65 people were arrested, including two police officers.

The chemist recruited to convert the fake coal back into cocaine was identified as “Parkinson”. The traffickers boasted that he was “two steps ahead of everyone else”.

He was paid €35,000 to perform his work at a makeshift lab near Anzio.

“Turning it from black to white is problematic, there are lots of intermediate phases,” an aide to the alleged crime boss Bruno Gallace said in an intercepted conversation.

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