Police have charged a man after cannabis plants with a potential street value of tens of thousands of dollars were discovered in an underground shipping container yesterday after a fire swept through a rural area near Grafton.
About 4.30pm yesterday, officers attached to Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command and RFS personnel attended a property on McGills Road at Kremnos, south of Grafton, after fire destroyed a home there.
On further inspection, police discovered a shipping container buried toward the rear of the property and inside they found 118 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of $590,000.
A crime scene was established at the property and later examined by detectives and specialist forensic officers.
Police also found an amount of cannabis leaf in other areas of the property.
The 68-year-old man living in the house was arrested and taken to Grafton police station.
The offences for which he was later charged are described by police as ‘enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose, supply prohibited drug and possess prohibited drug’ and granted conditional bail to appear before Grafton Local Court next month.
Even though the fire is thought to be deliberately lit, investigators say they don’t believe it started on the property.
Meanwhile, rural fire service crews continue to bring under control 15 fires still burning in the Clarence region.
Four homes near Grafton have been destroyed as a result of the fires which have raged for most of the past week.