Wednesday 27 May 2020

Police dismantle nearly 16 marijuana plantations a day: NRC

Police dismantling a marijuana plantation in Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Police dismantling a marijuana plantation in Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.nl

The police dismantled 5,856 marijuana plantations last year, or nearly 16 a day, the NRC said on Thursday.

However, police estimate this is only one fifth of the total, the paper said. In 2014, police busted just over 6,000 marijuana farms.

John Jespers, who heads the police marijuana team, told the paper it would be an illusion to think that the police would be able to discover all the plantations.

Detecting the plantations has become more difficult in recent years because growers are increasingly using special tents to hide the heat and the smell, he said. Two thirds of the plantations are found following a tip-off and most are located in private homes and offices.

South

Most of the plantations are found in the south of the country, with Limburg topping the police district list. In terms of cities, The Hague topped the list of 2015 marijuana busts, with 569 plantations, followed by Amsterdam on 512. In Rotterdam, by contrast, police dismantled just 203.

Tracking marijuana producers has become a cat and mouse game between criminals and the police, Jespers said. Small-time growers are most likely to be caught rather than the big guys, but they too ‘are part of organised crime.’

The government is making a major effort to stamp out production and last year made it a criminal offence for companies to supply people with lamps, fertilizer and other equipment if they suspect it is being used to grow marijuana.

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