£56 million of cannabis seized in "largest ever" Spanish raid
20 people arrested as 32 tonnes of marijuana found in farms and production plants across the country
Spanish police have seized, what is believed to have been, the largest ever haul of cannabis — in details released on Saturday (November 5).
As reported by Reuters, the Civil Guard claim that over 32 tonnes of the drug from around 1.1 million marijuana plants were found in a number of raids across Spain, with a street value believed to be around £57m.
They claim this is the largest amount of the drug to have been seized both within Spain and the rest of the world.
Drug raids took place as part of an operation last month called Operation Jardines (Gardens), which has led to 20 people – nine men and 11 women aged between 20 and 59 – being arrested for suspicion of their involvement in processing the drug.
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It is believed to have targeted one gang, who the police said dried the marijuana plants, before packaging and sending them to parts of Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
A police statement said: “The Civil Guard has seized the largest cache of packaged marijuana so far.
“It was equivalent to approximately 1.1 million specimens,” it continued.
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Believed members of the gang have been detained in Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia and Asturias.
Inacutado el mayor alijo de marihuana descubierto hasta el momento.— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) November 5, 2022
La organización desmantelada tenía más de 32 toneladas de cogollos de esta droga almacenada en Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia y Asturias.https://t.co/hXx8XR9HdE pic.twitter.com/QigxbsuBg0
Usage and possession of personal amounts of cannabis in Spain is largely decriminalised, including the growing and cultivation of a small number of marijuana plants as long as they are not visible from the outside.
Supply and distribution remains illegal however, although plans remain expecting to allow the sale of medical marijuana in pharmacies by the end of 2022.
The weight of the cannabis seized is roughly equivalent to an eight-wheeled truck, or five adult African bush elephants.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter