Police have swooped on illegal cannabis plantations around the north coast in the past few weeks, netting more than 12,500 cannabis plants potentially worth millions of dollars on the street.
The state’s drug squad and police air wing joined officers of the Richmond Local Area Command in the raids, part of the Cannabis Eradication Program (CEP).
Cannabis crops were found at Cawongla, Wadeville, New Italy, Double Duke, Jackie Bulbin, Mumblegum, Bulldog and Ewingar.
Police say more than 4,000 plants, with an estimated potential street value of more than $8 million, were seized.
This week’s raids follow the discovery of a large, sophisticated crop – housing more than 8,500 plants – earlier this month.
The crop, which was bordered by a 150m-long by 50m-wide stock-proof fence, was discovered off a secluded walking trail within the Bundjalung National Park on 11 November.
The crop was found by staff attached to Operation Bindiguy, a high-visibility contingent of Richmond Rural Crime Investigators and National Parks and Wildlife Services staff.
A total of 8,605 plants – most of them juvenile – were found there with an estimated potential street value of around $8.6 million.
The federally-funded cannabis eradication program has been running since the mid 1980s and, to date, police say it’s prevented cannabis with an estimated potential street value of more than $300 million from reaching NSW streets.
The program is generally operational during cannabis-growing season, which stretches from the late spring through summer and into early autumn.
Further raids are set to take place in other parts of NSW during the coming months.
Police ask that anyone with information concerning the growth, manufacture or distribution of illicit drugs contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Inform