Hydroponic setup in the rental homes

Four Illegal ACT Grow Houses Uncovered

in Australian Capital Territory

Key points

  • Four rental houses raided uncovering large cannabis cultivation operations
  • $1 million worth of cannabis seized and a single Vietnamese man arrested

Despite the recent ruling formalising the legal growth of cannabis for households in the ACT, police are still uncovering large scale growth operations around the capital.

Police were led to the rental houses after the fingerprints, of a certain man in question, were found following the seizure of 30kg of cannabis in Queensland in February.

The raids, which were carried out on March 23 by the ACT Police, targeted houses in Belconnen, Bonner, Moncrieff and Harrison.

What they found was far more than the four plants allowance per household.

Seized cannabis sitting ready to be destroyed
Seized cannabis sitting ready to be destroyed

Across the houses, around 230 plants of various sizes were found growing via sophisticated hydroponic setups. On top of that, 51 seedlings were seized, as well as an estimated $90,000 worth of dried cannabis ready to go.

All up, around $1 million worth of cannabis was stopped from hitting the streets that day.

Despite the large haul, only a single man was arrested – the original 44-year-old Vietnamese man whose fingerprints were found earlier.

It’s suspected this criminal organisation has links to the local Vietnamese community, with all of the houses being rented out with fake IDs.

One of the fake IDs used
One of the fake IDs used

Owners of the property were shocked upon hearing the news. A few were saddened they didn’t pop by for a surprise inspection a few days before.

Detective Superintendent Mick Calatzis mentioned the criminals were quite clever in disguising their tracks – by placing filled shoe racks near the door in case any one decided to take a peek inside.

It appears that they’ve disguised their tracks very well.

He expects more arrests will follow owing to the raids.

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