By Cathy Elelman • 19 November 2019 • 16:00
POLICE have broken up the biggest marijuana plantation set-up ever discovered in Aragon.
Operation ‘Copitos’ resulted in the seizure of a whopping 16,000 marijuana plants from cultivations located in difficult to access, densely forested areas of Agüero and Murillo de Gallego.
Police reported the plantations had been in the hands of an Albanian criminal gang, which had set up camp next to the cultivations to keep a 24-hour watch on the plants, maintain the cultivations and harvest the crop.
The gang was also responsible for carrying out a series of robberies from service stations and bars in the region, police said.
Police first launched an investigation back in April following a number of similar type break-ins at petrol stations and bars. The thieves violently forced their way into the establishments and stole the tobacco machines, hauling them out on a trolley to then prise them open on a nearby lane or in a field.
Investigators established an organised group of Albanian criminals was responsible for 10 robberies in Huesca, Sariñena and Nueno, but also to producing marijuana.
The dismantled plantations were well hidden. To get to them was a half hour journey in a 4×4 followed by another 30 minutes on foot along forest tracks.
Police said the six gang members cut down large areas of pines to make maximum use of the land for their illegal marijuana production activities and had modified ravines to use them to store water which they then directed at the plants with hoses using water pumps power by electricity generators.
It took 70 officers to dismantle the plantations and remove all the plants.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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