5,300 marijuana plantations found stealing electricity last year

Police destroyed almost 5,300 marijuana plantations which were illegally tapping electricity last year, a slight increase on 2012.

The figures come from the Dutch grid operators, who say the 140 million kilowatt hours of power stolen by these plantations is ‘only a fraction’ of the actual total.

They suspect marijuana plantations are using one billion kilowatt hours of power a year. This is ‘as much energy as all the households in The Hague’, the organisation said in a statement.

The grid operators say the downturn in the housing market has led more home owners to rent their properties to people who use them to start a plantation.

The total cost of the stolen electricity is some €200m, the grid operators say. Of this €70m is revenue for the power companies and €130m lost taxes. Consumers and companies end up picking up the lost revenue bill.

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