New Taipei City police discovered 513 cannabis plants following two raids this week, with investigators saying the suspects stood to make an estimated NT$123 million (US$4.24 million) in illegal profits from the plants.
Police said that they had placed a suspect, surnamed Liao (廖), 32, under surveillance after being tipped off.
In the first raid on Thursday afternoon in Tamsui District (淡水), police recovered 166 potted cannabis plants, along with cultivation tools and equipment.
Photo: Wu Jen-jieh, Taipei Times
After questioning Liao, police later that afternoon raided another building in Bali District (八里), where they found a larger operation, recovering 347 potted cannabis plants, together with cultivation tools and equipment.
Police said that Liao was the owner of both indoor cannabis farms and that some dried cannabis products were also found at the two locations.
Liao is facing charges related to breaching the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例), they said.
Liao would have made NT$123 million in illegal profits, based on him selling the cannabis to dealers at NT$800 per gram and each plant producing 300g of dried cannabis, police said.
If Liao had sold it directly to end users, he could have made as much as NT$600 million, the estimated street value based on a price of NT$1,500 per gram, they said.
However, experts and lawyers criticized the police figures as unrealistic and inflated, disputing the formula police used to estimate the street value of drugs.
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