Irish police discover elaborate cannabis operation worth almost $600,000 after receiving public tip

Beyond seizing approximately 450 weed plants, police also confiscated designer goods and a Mercedes-Benz.

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Irish police shut down a massive cannabis grow-op in Dublin late last week after an anonymous tip led them to a residence that yielded about 450 illegal plants worth an estimated 400,000 euros ($596,000).

Upon receiving the tip, Gardaí, the national police service of the Republic of Ireland, obtained a search warrant for the premises in question, notes a statement from police. During a raid at about 7 p.m. on Mar. 18, police found “an elaborate grow house whereby much of the premises had been adapted to the cultivation of cannabis plants, as well as an elaborate ventilation system.”

In all, the officers confiscated approximately 450 suspected mature cannabis plants with an estimated street value of 400,000 euros ($596,000).

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But the Gardaí report there was more to discover. During a follow-up search at another residence in Dublin 7, police “seized a large quantity of designer goods, including bags, shoes and jewellery, and a 181 Mercedes-Benz vehicle, all of which are suspected as being the proceeds of crime,” the statement notes.

Furthermore, a bank account containing 130,000-plus euros ($193,700) was also frozen during the search operation.

Gardai, however, have not made any arrests in connection with the discovery of cannabis, cash and goods. An investigation is ongoing.

Despite not arresting any culprits, the seizure is among the biggest made by Gardai in recent months.

Busts in March, for example, have included almost €180,000 ($268,812) worth of suspected cocaine and cannabis herb, the latter valued at €108,000 ($161,292). In mid-March, Gardai seized about 40,000 euros ($59,600) worth of suspected cannabis plants and cannabis herb. And early in the month, the police confiscated 220,000 euros ($327,800) of weed, along with 18,000 euros ($26,877) of cash.

FILE: Revenue officers and K9 Marley were carrying out routine profiling at the terminal on Mar. 9 when the illicit load was discovered. /
FILE: Revenue officers and K9 Marley were carrying out routine profiling at the terminal on Mar. 9 when the illicit load was discovered. / Photo by Revenue, Twitter

A considerably bigger seizure occurred on Mar. 9, however, when Revenue’s Customs Service confiscated 1.8 million euros ($2.7 million) of cannabis herb in County Cork.

Late last year, Garda added simple possession of cannabis to the Adult Cautioning Scheme, which was introduced more than a decade ago and is meant to be an alternative to prosecution for certain people and in certain instances.

However, the potential penalties for cannabis cultivation can be tough. According to Citizens Information, upon being convicted on indictment for growing cannabis plants, “the court can decide on an appropriate fine and you could also be liable for a prison sentence of up to 14 years” or both.

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