Australia — A large-scale hydroponic drug operation has been discovered in a shipping container buried underground near a house destroyed by a bushfire on the New South Wales North Coast.
Police said a shipping container holding more than 100 cannabis plants was found intact, buried just metres from a home destroyed by fire last weekend in Kremnos, south of Grafton.
Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said it was a large-scale hydroponic cannabis-growing operation.
“Investigators went back to the premises today armed with a warrant, and have seized well over $600,000 worth of drugs, being cannabis,” he said.
“Apart from the 118 cannabis plants allegedly seized, we’ve also seized over 1 kilogram of cannabis leaf.”
Detective Inspector Jameson said a 68-year-old man is facing drug cultivation and supply charges.
“He’s been taken to Grafton Police Station and is currently assisting police with our inquiries,” he said.
“He will be charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis plants, he’s also going to be charged with supplying cannabis, and he’ll be bailed to appear at Grafton Local Court on the 15th of September.”
Detective Inspector Jameson said while the Kremnos fire is believed to have been deliberately lit, it is not suspected to have originated on the property.
“It was a victim of the fire itself, and there is no indication anywhere to suggest the fire started on that property,” he said.
“But our investigations are still ongoing in respect to the fire.”