Courtesy of an on-going drug operation, named Papa Cider, the Queensland police, on Tuesday, seized cannabis worth $5.4 million from a property in Southern Downs located on Kessler Road in Old Talgai, near Warwick.
The authorities confiscated around 140 kg of dried cannabis and as many as 1,825 cannabis plants.
Acting Inspector Jamie Deacon said that this should come as a big blow to the organized crime within Queensland. “The set-up was very commercial-grade and sophisticated, which included irrigation and hydroponics set-ups,” he added.
However, none of the accused belongs to any local place. Reportedly, out of the total 7 individuals taken into custody, 3 were Vietnamese nationals who had entered Australia illegally; two people were found to be unlawful non-citizens and one was in breach of a bridging visa.
Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the Drug and Serious Crime Group believe is of the belief that many drug trafficking rings target unlawful non-citizens for the sole purpose of producing and manufacturing these drugs. And protecting the exploitation of these people is the major goal of Operation Papa Cider, besides, of course, busting drug trafficking syndicates.
“Our approach is to target the high-level distributor who is reaping lucrative benefits from an illicit drug, all the while removing themselves from the crime and reinvesting the profits into other illegal activities directly impacting our community,” the detective was quoted as saying by ABC News.
Inspector Deacon said that this week’s bust was led by an earlier raid conducted during a routine traffic intercept on the Warrego Highway at Minden in March, wherein 250 kilograms of cannabis worth around $1.5 million was confiscated.
In June of 2018, a number of arrests were made under the same operation, which saw the arrest of two people and the seizure of $1,350,000 worth of cannabis from grow houses in Moorooka, Upper Mount Gravatt and Annerley.