Mullum madness: $1.9m worth seized
STRIKE Force Farrelly has netted $5 million worth of cannabis in five days of operations in the region.
Officers wound up the Tweed-Byron phase of its cannabis eradication operation yesterday after two days of intensive sweeps over the Mullumbimby area.
Based at Mullumbimby Showground, where Polair One regularly refuelled, Strike Force officers seized 329 plants on Thursday and 617 yesterday. The haul has an estimated value of almost $1.9m.
Another 1500 plants were seized earlier in the week at Burringbar, Murwillumbah and Uki.
All 2446 plants were destroyed at a secret location yesterday.
Strike Force leader, Detective Inspector Michele Ledden, thanked local communities who she said welcomed them into the region.
“People have been very positive,” she said.
“We’ve had people approaching us in the street to thank us and sometimes offer information.
“People realise any cultivation and supply has links to organised crime and profits from plantations will go to fund other criminal and drug activities.
“That lot is out of harm’s way now.”
Police estimate each of the 2446 plants seized have a mature street value of $2000 each.
The biggest hauls came from Pumpenbil near Uki on Wednesday where 1000 plants were seized.
It is the second time the State Crime Command has raided Uki in as many weeks following the discovery of Australia’s first MDMA laboratory capable of producing the chemicals used to make ecstasy.
There have been no arrests as yet but police said they will follow-up with investigations based on evidence collected and information received.
Insp Ledden said the focus of the operation was to eradicate as many plantations before harvest to reduce the yield that police believe was destined for nationwide distribution.
“Strike Force Farrelly will continue its operations across the State for the next couple of months,” she said, explaining that exact locations had to remain a secret.
“Who knows, we might be back here – we like to surprise them.”