Power grab: Newly busted illicit grow-ops in Spain pilfered $2.3 million in electricity

Growth op

A series of coordinated raids on 63 homes in Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium last month revealed not only 34,000 illegal cannabis plants, but also that the stolen electricity to power the operations amounted to about 1.5 million euros ($2.3 million). The Spanish National Police, the Dutch Police, the Belgian Federal Police and Europol worked together to bring down the hammer on numerous illegal grows. In all, 17 people were arrested (including 11 in Spain, four in the Netherlands and one in Belgium), five indoor cannabis grows were dismantled, and 14 vehicles, one handgun, many fake IDs and 20,000 euros ($31,000) in cash was seized, notes a statement last week from Europol. Headquartered in The Hague, Europol supports the 27 European Union member states in their fight against terrorism, cyber crime and other serious and organized forms of crime. Police nab two backyard bandits for stealing Ontario cannabis plant Thick as thieves: Dimwitted robbers caught on police video walking on highway with stolen hemp Mumbai men have enough pluck to pose as police and pilfer a truck full of pot Beyond the dismantling and seizures was the strong undercurrent of electricity and water theft. The stolen electricity for the illegal indoor grow-ops was more than 1.5 million euros ($2.3 million), Europol reports. Made up of mostly of Albanian nationals, who employed encrypted means of communication, the criminal network involved locating and equipping buildings in quiet areas in Barcelona suburbs to produce three to four weed harvests annually. Once cannabis at the large-scale operations was harvested, it was then “sent to the Netherlands hidden in pallets loaded onto lorries,” according to Europol. Netbeheer Nederland, the trade association for electricity and gas network operators in the Netherlands, reported last year that there are about 4,000 energy thefts each year in the country,…

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Source : Power grab: Newly busted illicit grow-ops in Spain pilfered .3 million in electricity

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