Record $500m cannabis haul
July 3, 2008
Part of the $500 million cannabis haul uncovered on a south-west
Queensland property this week.
Police say further investigations into a drug plantation in Queensland's Southern Downs have uncovered up to $500 million worth of cannabis product.
Chief Superintendent Ross Barnett said the massive haul, which included 20,000 planted trees, eight tonnes of dried cannabis and several kilometres of irrigation piping, made the discovery one of the largest in the country.
Officers initially estimated the seizure at $42 million - less than 10 per cent of its revised worth.
The plants were found on a remote, 4000 acre property at Warroo, near Inglewood, yesterday after months of police work and a crucial tip-off from a member of the public.
An alleged harvesting operation was also concealed in two sheds said to be twice the size of a suburban house block.
Police also found a fully-loaded 9mm pistol and Mr Barnett said significant stores of ammunition for "high-powered rifles" had been uncovered since then.
A father and son, the owners of the property for the last four years, were remanded in custody after a brief appearance in Warwick Magistrates Court yesterday.
They are due to reappear on August 27 and will face charges of producing and possessing a dangerous drug, unlawful possession of a handgun, possessing property suspected of being the proceeds of a crime and possessing property suspected to have been used in connection with the commission of a drug offence.
Mr Barnett said police were searching for between four and six people who were believed to have been involved in production on the property or looking after the crop.
"What other enterprise may sit behind that is yet to be determined but that's obviously the focus of our ongoing investigation," he said.
The probe would also determine where the product was headed.
Officers were expected to remain on site for several days to come as the investigation continued, Mr Barnett said.
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Record $500m cannabis haul in Australia