Organised crime syndicate cannabis operation worth $234.5 million shut down, North Coast region

Police have charged 14 people and uncovered an extensive commercial cannabis production facility at a property in Isis Central, with an estimated potential street value of $234.5 million.

Yesterday, detectives from the Drug and Serious Crime Group, with the assistance of Bundaberg, Wide Bay and Childers police, executed a search warrant at a property adjacent to the Bruce Highway. It will be alleged that the facility comprised of 51 green-houses, each approximately 80m long. Inside police located and seized 46,894 cannabis plants and seedlings, along with generators, hydroponic and other equipment police will allege was being used to grow the cannabis.

Police have arrested 12 men and two women – aged between 25 and 52 – who were located on the site. Each person was charged with one count each of producing, possessing a dangerous drug (cannabis) and possessing items used in the production. They are expected to appear in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court today.

All cannabis plants seized as part of the investigation have been destroyed and hydroponic equipment dismantled.

Investigations, including any possible links to a similar large commercial-scale cannabis production in Boondooma on August 4, are continuing.

Detective Inspector Brad Phelps from the Drug and Serious Crime Group said the investigations reflect police’s ongoing commitment to disrupting criminal syndicates.

“These criminal syndicates have no regard for the workers or their living conditions, the environment or the wider harms illicit drugs cause to the community.

“Criminal syndicates are motivated by profit. These types of operations are linked to money laundering with profits sent offshore and used to fund other criminal activities,” Detective Inspector Phelps said.

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