Police sealed off an area of some 140 houses in the Limburg town of Hoensbroek near Heerlen on Tuesday in a major hunt for marijuana plantations.
By mid-afternoon, 13 people had been arrested and 13 plantations had been found, Nos tv reported. The action involved over 200 police officers, including 75 riot police. Dogs and a helicopter were also involved in the search.
Police moved in at 7.45am, placing the Kastelenbuurt neighbourhood under emergency rule and only allowing people to leave their homes if they had to go to work or take children to school.
At least 35 homes were searched.
News agency Novum said the search had been prompted by a ‘bizarre’ surge in electricity usage in the neighbourhood since the summer – usually connected to wide-scale indoor marijuana growing.
The national crime hotline had also received several tip-offs about illegal activity in the area, Novum said.
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