Marijuana grow op busted: 780 plants in three locations in central Taiwan

Taiwan criminal investigators busted a marijuana grow op, confiscating 780 plants and 65 kilograms of dried cannabis at three locations in central Taiwan, in what is described as a sophisticated operation producing A-grade quality marijuana.

According to a press release, the Telecommunications Investigation Team of the Criminal Investigation Bureau began an investigation after a tip-off at the end of last year. Police tracked the movement and activities of a 34-year-old man named Tsai and three accomplices.

On May 21, police raided a factory in Shengang District, Taichung City, uncovering an indoor growing operation. The following day, two locations in Changhua County were raided. A total of 780 live marijuana plants were confiscated. One of the locations in Changhua County had more than 300 live plants. As well as live plants, 63.4 kilograms of dried marijuana was also seized.

drying marijuana plants
Drying marijuana plants.

According to the investigation, Tsai allegedly purchased cannabis seeds online from abroad. Tsai rented three factories and employed three men, named Chang, Ye, and Liu to manage the growing operations. Police described the operations as professional, with 24-hour monitoring of lighting, humidity, soil PH, watering, and temperature control equipment adjusted for different varieties of cannabis strains.

Police described the quality of cannabis as A-grade and capable of fetching the highest range of estimated market prices of between NT$1,000 and NT$3,000 per gram. Police estimated the market value of the haul at around NT$400 million.

Police have not ruled out further arrests related to financial backers of the scheme, and the four suspects were handed over to the Changhua District Prosecutor’s Office to face charges of producing a Category-2 prohibited drug.

suspects handcuffed and escorted to District Prosecutor's Office
Three of four suspects taken to District Prosecutor to face charges.
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