An­nual raids for cannabis begin

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MA­JORIE COOK

Three cannabis op­er­a­tions in Wanaka last week were un­re­lated, De­tec­tive Alan Lee, of Alexan­dra, says.

A fourth op­er­a­tion was con­ducted at Kingston.

Two peo­ple have been ar­rested and charged with cul­ti­vat­ing cannabis. They are ex­pected to ap­pear in Queen­stown Dis­trict Court.

Lee said the po­lice ex­e­cuted search war­rants as a re­sult of nor­mal rou­tine en­quiries, in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by mem­bers of the public.

There had not been any sur­veil­lance, un­like Op­er­a­tion Vik­ing last year, which re­sulted in sev­eral Wanaka ar­rests for var­i­ous drugs of­fences.

"There is not a syn­di­cate or a group of peo­ple," he said.

"At this time of year, cannabis is grown. It is an an­nual crop."

A rea­son­able amount of cannabis plants and dried cannabis was re­cov­ered but Lee was un­able to con­firm the quan­ti­ties as it had not been mea­sured and weighed. "It is still very wet and green".

Po­lice re­cov­ered 20 plants from scrub around Lake Wanaka.

Some plants were re­cov­ered near Lake Hawea on March 31, then on April 1 po­lice re­moved sev­eral plants grow­ing about 10m from State High­way 6 near The Neck, be­tween lakes Wanaka and Hawea. More plants were found on a prop­erty be­tween Lug­gate and Tar­ras.

Lee said peo­ple had told the po­lice about the plants at The Neck. "They were not too hard to find. Some­times plants get a bit big­ger than you might ex­pect and you can see them from the side of the road. I have no idea who did that [planted them]."

Lee said the po­lice re­mained keen to hear from the public or farm­ers if they saw any­thing sus­pi­cious.

In­for­ma­tion can be pro­vided anony­mously to the or­gan­i­sa­tion Crime Stop­pers on 0800 555 111.

Cannabis plants re­cov­ered by po­lice at Kingston, near Queen­stown. Photo: 630701974

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