Massive NSW Cannabis Bust 'Jet Fuel' For Organised Crime
Police have seized almost $6 million dollars worth of illegal cannabis in raids across Sydney's west and say the cash could have been used as 'fuel' for organised crime.
Police said while it may be considered one of the less dangerous drugs, to them, it is the "jet fuel" of organised crime as its proceeds are often used to fund other illegal activity.
"We have seen that money raised through this process being diverted into the importation of illicit drugs and precursors and used in the establishment of clandestine drug laboratories," Detective Acting Superintendent Michael Cook told reporters following the multi-million dollar haul.
All up, Sydney police officers connected to Strike Force Garford uncovered nine hydro houses in suburbs such as Northmead, Epping, Carlingford, Granville and as far north as Gorokan on the Central Coast.
Najib owns one of the targeted homes in Dundas Valley and until Tuesday had thought a family-of-four was living in his rental for $650 per week.
"A family, yeah, a hairdresser or something," he told 10 News First.
"It's shocking, never thought that would happen, but anyway, that's the world we live in now."
According to police, the homes involved in Tuesday's raids were unassuming from the outside but showed tell-tale signs of drug cultivation.
"All of them were stealing property from the electricity grid," Detective Cook said.
“They've had their windows blacked so you can’t see into the property if you're a nosey neighbour, they have people coming and going at strange times ... and they have significant building alterations."
He warned landlords to remain vigilant to ensure that they're not housing criminal activity.
Three people were arrested during the police operation, two of which are accused of using fake identification to rent these homes.
Police suspect more arrests and raids to follow.