Spanish police dismantle Europe’s largest cannabis plantation
It was at this point that police discovered the scale of a mutant marijuana farm unearthed by the plant’s largest seizure in European history:
The Huerta de Valdecarábanos facility in Toledo, Spain, spanned 120,000 square meters – over 16 standard football pitches – and was supposed to grow hemp for industrial use.
But when Civil Guard police inspected the farm, they discovered it was actually cannabis sativa, genetically modified to look like legal hemp.
Upon their return, officers seized 135,000 marijuana plants – the largest seizure ever in a police operation in Europe – and made three arrests.
In neighboring warehouses, they intercepted an additional 30 tonnes of dried marijuana and 3,720 kg of bud ready for distribution.
At Madrid’s main airport, an additional 112 kg of buds – declared simply “plants” – had already been seized by the police.
A spokesperson for the Civil Guard described the enormity of the drug cultivation operation.
They said: “The farm where this plantation was located covered an area of 12 hectares, with 24-hour permanent surveillance.
“Nearby there were two warehouses fitted out with equipment to be converted into indoor marijuana crops for a greater increase in production.
“There was also a drying area with a closed system of security and surveillance cameras.”
The spokesperson added that the farm workers were mostly foreigners, unofficially employed and housed in a place that did not meet “the most minimal conditions of habitability”.
Three people have now been arrested for an alleged public health crime, while six others are under investigation.
The raid comes amid growing fears of the scale of drug trafficking in Spain.
A Civil Guard police chief, speaking in 2019, said: “Due to its geographical position, Spain is a receptor – of hashish from Morocco and cocaine from Latin America. He is also a major producer of marijuana.
“It has perfect and smooth distribution channels, mainly road transport, with trucks transporting all kinds of fruit and vegetables across Europe.
A report last year, meanwhile, named Catalonia as “the epicenter of the illegal marijuana market in Europe”.