London - (Rioters): Forensic testing of the River Thames has found a high concentration of cocaine after storm drains burst during recent wintry gales and narcotic-infested effluent poured into the upper reaches of the river causing millions of fish to have a damned good time for all of half an hour before dying of sewage poisoning.
And now the Narcotics Recovery Unit has come up with a plan to pan the river for coke in much the same way that prospectors searched the Klondyke for gold, only using the latest high-tech equipment to dredge off the narcotic which is present in 95% of clubbing Londoners' urine samples.
A recent government white paper suggested that recovered cocaine could be reprocessed at official laboratories into pharmaceutical novocaine and sold off to dental practices with the ensuing profits going straight into cash-starved NHS coffers. But the plan was hastily shelved after thousands of applications for commercial reprocessing licenses turned out to be fronted by canny dealers who had got wind of lucrative EU subsidies and decided to try milking the system.
And in another development high street banks have offered to install special ATM machines which will electronically swipe customers' banknotes and strip them of any cocaine particles that might be present. The move follows continuing reports that every world currency is contaminated with traces of the drug and that a typical wad of 100 twenty pound notes could produce as much as half a gram of the substance when the currency is swiped through the new coke-collecting machines.
This last innovation has the green appeal of re-cycling and may get the nod from the Mayor's office later in the year.