Vehicle stop in Rockingham leads to huge drug bust
Five people have been charged and large amounts of cannabis seized as detectives investigate a Vietnamese Established Criminal Network allegedly operating Cannabis Grow Houses.
On Friday, Organised Crime Squad detectives stopped a vehicle in Rockingham.
The vehicle was searched and seven sealed drums were allegedly found, containing 50 sealed cryovac bags with about 25kg of cannabis head material.
Homes were then searched in Carina Close (Rockingham), Greeson Parkway (Secret Harbour) and Trafalgar Place (Queens Park).
Detectives say 56 Cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment were seized from the Secret Harbour residence and about 1kg of Cannabis material was seized from the Queens Park residence and cash was seized from the Rockingham residence.
Based on what they discovered, the squad then travelled to Geraldton on Saturday and searched another seven properties, with help from Geraldton Detectives.
This included two homes which allegedly had been established as Cannabis Grow Houses with 138 and 127 plants located, respectively.
Organised Crime Squad officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Ray Horne said the Vietnamese Established Criminal Networks operating in WA continued to target residential rental properties, left leave behind significant damage for the landlords to repair.
"In many cases property owners who self-advertise their properties online are targeted, usually by offenders who pose as a family group and who request that inspections not be undertaken for various reasons,” Sgt Horne said.
“Property owners should stand firm and ensure they have steps in place for them to protect their investment properties.
“The destruction caused to properties through the establishment of a Cannabis Grow House is extensive and at times involve significant remediation works.
"The damage, which is common to include illegal modifications to the power supply, can also be dangerous – even life-threatening. Media Release
Sgt Horne said in many cases when police had spoken to neighbours there had been signs of suspicious behaviour such as people coming and going at all times of the day and night for short periods of time, or people coming to the property not wanting to engage with neighbours or be seen and identified.
"Early detection of houses being used to grow Cannabis will not only help in the arrest of the offenders, but may also help minimise the extent of damage left behind for the property owners to deal with,” he said.
The investigation is ongoing, including investigation into the link between members of this network and the discovery and seizure of Cannabis plants in Red Gully during October 2019.
Anyone with information regarding the location of Cannabis Grow Houses, or other cultivation of Cannabis, is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.
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