Chiayi County police and district prosecutors uncovered a record haul of 1,648 marijuana plants after raids on multiple properties in the county, Sunday, February 21.
The previous record for a cannabis cultivation operation bust for Taiwan law enforcement was set in August 2020, when Taichung City Police uncovered 1,361 plants in Nantou County.
See previous story: Biggest marijuana plantation in Taiwan’s history busted in Nantou County
Chiayi County police began an investigation into the operation in November 2020, and raided 19 properties, Sunday, after receiving search warrants from the Chiayi County District Prosecutor’s Office.
Three men in their thirties have been have been arrested in relation to the growing operation. According to the investigation so far, the men rented newly-built houses in Chiayi City and Minxiong Township, and fitted the houses with ventilation and lighting systems.
According to investigators, the men made superficial decorations to the houses such as adding curtains to give the properties a normal appearance, while sealing the windows behind the curtains with wood boards, and installing exhaust systems to prevent the smell being detected.
Police seized as evidence a total of 1,421 live marijuana plants, 227 dried plants, 4 kilograms of dried marijuana tops, as well as equipment related to growing and preparation. Police estimate the value of the haul at more than NT$500 million.
Marijuana buds were packed into cans branded “Mountain High Herbal Remedies” before being sold.
Investigators gathered the evidence in an auditorium, filling both the stage and floor area with plants and other evidence in preparation for a press conference today, February 23.
Due to the strong smell of cannabis and for epidemic prevention purposes, police reminded reporters to keep their masks on for health reasons.
The investigation is continuing into upstream suppliers, and downstream distributors, police said.
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