Fri, Jul 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Police raid two cannabis farms

ADVANCED OPERATIONS:The Taichung grower had hydroponics, water pipes and other equipment, while the Taoyuan grower is an award-winning young farmer

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

More than 300 marijuana plants seized by police are displayed yesterday at Taichung’s Wuri Precinct station.

Photo: Su Chin-feng, Taipei Times

Local authorities have over the past few days conducted raids of two cannabis farms, one in Taichung and the other in Taoyuan, and are to file charges for contraventions of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例).

Taichung police yesterday raided a warehouse in Cingshuei District (清水) operated by a 39-year-old man surnamed Liu (劉) and seized 331 marijuana plants.

At Liu’s residence elsewhere in the city, police found three pouches of cannabis flower weighing 131g, 494 cannabis seeds, six pouches of amphetamine weighing 26g and a set of cannabis extract processing tools.

Police said they were surprised at the scale of the farm, as the 331 plants have an estimated street value of more than NT$100 million (US$3.27 million).

Liu’s advanced operation featured hydroponics, water circulation pipes, LED lighting and air-conditioning, police said.

Separately, Taoyuan police on Wednesday announced the seizure of 68 marijuana plants found inside a greenhouse at an organic farm in Sinwu District (新屋).

Police said they have arrested the farm’s 28-year-old owner, surnamed Huang (黃), and two farmhands, who turned out to be undocumented migrant workers from Vietnam who had left their original employers.

Huang has grown organic produce for several years and is part of a movement for young people returning to rural areas to become farmers, police said.

He has excelled at cultivating and marketing his vegetables, which are grown on a plot measuring about 1 hectare, and received the local government’s Outstanding Young Farmer award last year, they said.

During questioning, Huang told police that he created the greenhouse on a small section of the farm and only started to grow cannabis six months ago.

“I read on the Internet that smoking marijuana is good for health and is an effective treatment for some diseases,” police quoted Huang as saying. “I learned everything about growing marijuana on the Internet.”

Police said they traced a number of online purchases of cannabis products to Huang and began surveilling his farm for some time before conducting the raid.

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