Victorian Police have seized 2,500 cannabis plants from a factory in Mordialloc in the state’s south-east.
The plants were discovered as part of a drug bust early Wednesday morning. The bust was carried out by investigators from the Caufield division response unit on a factory located on De Havilland Rd.
According to police, the area around the factory’s roller door was packed with a wall of boxes and other items to give the impression of a functioning distribution centre. Behind this, the factory contained thousands of cannabis plants tightly packed into an area of just 678 square metres.
The plants ranged in size, with the largest of the crop standing at least a metre tall. Some plants had even outgrown the space. Although they did not give an exact number, police estimate that the plants are worth millions of dollars in total. Australia-wide, the cannabis black market is valued in the tens of billions.
According to statements made by Sergeant Brooke Manfey to the Herald Sun, police were not expecting to find such a high number of cannabis plants when they raided Mordialloc property, though they expected to seize some cannabis.
Sergeant Manley also revealed that the lights and grow equipment used in the factory were running from an illegal electrical bypass from neighbouring factories. This would have placed the area at a high risk of fire, as the factory was full of amateur wiring, power boards plugged into other power boards and a network of faulty extension cords.
The factory was also fitted with air filtration equipment. After this was turned off, businesses in the area reported the smell of cannabis from the building.
The Mordialloc cannabis bust is one of the largest indoor busts carried out in Victoria. No arrests have been in connection with the operation, though police are continuing their investigation. They urge anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.