Muesli, a highly-addictive loose mixture of rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and wheat or rye flakes, has been the cornerstone of worldwide illicit breakfast trade for many years says SOCA’s head of enforcement Dennis Bradley. ‘Millions of users have become hooked on this alternative to traditional cereals, with millions of pounds worth of the dried form of the mixture flooding the UK every year through a sophisticated network of supermarkets, corner shops and health food stores.’
Muesli dealers have traditionally targetted vulnerable middle-class users; the people least likely to know any better about being lured into paying for addictive but expensive health food products. However the actions of SOCA and other international anti-crime agencies has had a drastic effect, as attested by a series of recent high-profile muesli-busts across Europe. The result has been a huge rise in the wholesale price, though authorities acknowledge that the ‘War on Muesli’ is not over yet.
The ‘street’ value of the cereal remains constant as dealers increasingly dilute or ‘cut’ their muesli with bits of dried tropical fruit, yogurt, honey and semi-skimmed milk. ‘Some are even risking the wellbeing of their clients further by watering down their product with a fruit compote,’ claims Bradley. There are also concerns about the development of so-called ‘granola bars’, often 5-6 times strength of the traditional muesli. ‘I’ve even seen schoolchildren walking around with bags of ‘clusters’ which is obviously street slang for something much more dangerous.’
‘But after a number of successful convictions many of the bigger dealers are now doing porridge,’ boasted Bradley. ‘Except then they go and put sliced bananas in it, and seeds and raisins and shit.’
Pulled together by jp1885 from submissions by JeniB, cazzbar, Hennell, rickwestwell, and Skylarking
14th May 2009