NSW police are back to cracking the whip on weed, after seizing nearly $13 million in a raid in Sydney earlier this week.
While NSW police love policing pot, officers were in for a shock after an enormous raid turned up 4,297 live cannabis plants. Together, the plants are valued at $12.89 million, were seized when a search warrant was carried out on a property in Kemps Creek on Tuesday.
The cannabis was spread across 31 greenhouses, with cannabis cultivation equipment seized in four of these greenhouses.
The Kemps Creek raid was part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering and cannabis cultivation. The investigation was launched by Strike Force Riche, which is a joint effort between the Organised Crime Squad and the NSW Crime Commission established in July 2019. As of this week, Strike Force Riche has arrested twelve people.
Four men were arrested at the scene of the raid, aged 19, 23, 26 and 41. Each man was charged with participating in a criminal group and cultivating a prohibited plant in a large commercial quantity. If found guilty, the men face twenty years in prison each.
In a statement to the media, police alleged the 19-year-old was involved in another large-scale cannabis operation in Gibberagee. Back in June, police seized nearly $22 million worth of cannabis at the Gibberagee property.
All four men faced Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday 26th and were denied bail.
When NSW police shared pictures of the raid on Facebook, they were met with a range of outraged responses. This one was too poignant not to share.
What a complete waste of Police resources. Prescription opioids harm more people than cannabis.
While $13 million in cannabis may seem like a mountain of marijuana, NSW police seized over $100.5 million in the first half of 2020. Read that story here.