Nearly $12 million worth of cannabis has been seized and destroyed following a major drug bust over the border.
Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad came across the huge haul during this year’s Cannabis Eradication Program, which targets the outdoor cultivation of cannabis throughout Northern NSW.
During the program, detectives seized 5,818 plants, with an estimated potential street value of $11.6 million.
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This includes more than 3,100 plants and 5kg of cannabis head seized in the Coffs Police District between 3 and 7 February, more than 1,690 plants seized in Richmond Police District between 24 and 28 February, and 1,015 plants seized in Tweed/Byron Police District between 9 and 12 March 2020.
According to officers, many of the crops were found growing in remote dense bushland.
“All the plants were certified by an agronomist and have since been destroyed,” police said.
In total, 25 people were served Court Attendance Notices for offences relating to the cultivation of cannabis.
Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Watson, said police have been confronted with challenging conditions this season.
“The environment has been extremely challenging for police – we had the bushfires, rain, flooding – so to say the criminals are doing their best to get into really remote areas is an understatement,”” Det Supt Watson said.
“The expertise and assistance of our specialist units is essential to the success of the program and this year has been no different.”