Police have seized and destroyed $2 million worth of outdoor
cannabis plants in the wider Auckland area as part of a major
operation this week.
Operation Lucy is targeting outdoor-grown cannabis across the
wider Auckland region, and the NZ Air Force assisted police
in this week's recovery phase.
More than two thousand cannabis plants were found, seized and
destroyed. The plants were growing in forests, swamps, rivers
and rural property and crops were found in locations
including Port Waikato, Muriwai, Piha, Kaipara Flats,
Helensville & Great Barrier Island.
Similar recovery operations will are expected across Auckland
in the next few months.
Sixteen search warrants have been executed across Auckland,
and at this stage eight people (seven men and one woman, aged
between 29 and 58) have been charged with cultivation of
cannabis. More arrests are expected.
"This is a great result. Some of the plants that we seized
had obviously been growing for quite some time and I have no
doubt that this has dealt a real blow to the criminal
element," operation head Detective Sergeant Callum McNeill
Police staff from Counties Manukau, Waitakere, Rodney, North
Shore, Auckland City and Counties Manukau were involved in
the operation, which owed its success in part to information
provided by the public.
Det Sgt McNeill urged people to keep their eyes open for
signs of cultivation.
"Even though it's getting to the end of the growing season
growers are still tending to their plots, and anyone who
notices something that doesn't look quite right - for example
lights in the bush after dark or people in places that you
wouldn't expect anyone to be - is encouraged to contact
Police or the Crimestoppers organisation anonymously on 0800