POLICE have uncovered one of the biggest cannabis growing operations in WA history at a rural property north of Perth – seizing 7500 cannabis plants worth more than $10 million.
Organised crime squad Det-Sen. Sgt Michael Rowson said the haul would make a “massive” dent in the profits of organised crime, although police were still trying to identify which syndicate was growing the crop.
He admitted detectives were surprised by the scale of the illicit operation they discovered at the 47-acre property in Red Gully, north of Gingin on Friday.
Ten of the 14 commercial greenhouses at the property were lined with pots containing cannabis plants.
“The scale and sophistication of this operation was significant,” he said.
“It’s one of the biggest seizures of a cannabis crop in WA.
“We filled a 40-foot sea container.”
He said the plants were at various stages of maturity and the crop had probably been there for about three months.
Nothing else was being farmed at the rural property but he would not reveal what led police to the site.
Nobody was at the property when detectives arrived and Det-Sen Sgt Rowson said the investigation into who was behind the operation was in “its infancy”.
He said the crop was the first to be discovered on a farm this year, with most cannabis being found in residential homes across the metropolitan area.
Det-Sen Sgt Rowson said organised crime squad detectives and specialist forensics officers spent the weekend processing and dismantling the operation.
The seized cannabis has all been destroyed.
WA Police launched Taskforce Silverdrift in July last year to crack down on the increasing number of cannabis grow houses in WA.
Last financial year taskforce investigators charged 58 people with 167 offences, including drug trafficking. They also froze cash and assets worth almost $8.5 million.
Searches of 113 properties used to cultivate cannabis netted about 12,442 cannabis plants, 542.46kg of cannabis and about $600,000 cash.
Anyone with information about the Red Gully property or about drug growing at other locations can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000