Police nab $2.7m cannabis haul

The Police Air Wing helicopter at Tumbulgum during last week’s drug raid.
The Police Air Wing helicopter at Tumbulgum during last week’s drug raid. Craig Sadler

MORE than $2.7 million worth of cannabis was found during a week-long air and land search of the Tweed and Byron shires.

During the fifth raid of this year’s Cannabis Eradication Program, police seized 1365 cannabis plants, almost 50% down on last year’s total.

Strike Force Unwin, made up of drug squad detectives, was assisted by the NSW Police air wing, dog squad and Tweed Byron officers in searching the two shires from Monday, February 28, to Friday.

Areas targeted included Piggabeen, Chillingham, Tyalgum, Mount Warning and surrounding areas.

During the operation police located and seized 1365 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of $2.73 million.

The same program last year netted 2446 plants ranging from one to five metres in height, valued at $4.8 million.

To date, Strike Force Unwin officers have seized plants with a total estimated street value of $24.5 million.

All plants have been now been destroyed by police.

Drug Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham warned police would conduct a number of similar raids over the next few months in an ongoing effort to target cannabis cultivation.

“You won’t know where or when we’ll strike, but we’ve got your crops in our sights,” Det Supt Bingham said.

“Our aim is to detect and destroy cannabis crops across the state.

“Whether it’s a semi-rural crop or on a steep mountainside in a remote part of the state, there’s a very high chance police will find it.

“If you think you’re safe growing cannabis then think again.”

The NSW Police Cannabis Eradication Program has been running since the mid-1980s.

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