Ten people have been arrested as part of a joint operation involving WA Police, the Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, targeting the cultivation and distribution of Cannabis throughout WA’s south metropolitan district.
Yesterday, Wednesday 23 November 2016, detectives from the Organised Crime Squad, Proceeds of Crime Squad and Rockingham Detectives Office executed 24 Misuse of Drugs Act search warrants in the suburbs of Rockingham, Warnbro, Waikiki, Safety Bay, Medina, Port Kennedy, Cooloongup, Byford, Wattleup, Shoalwater, Westminster and Baldivis.
During the search warrants approximately 1,500 Cannabis plants and approximately 30kg of Cannabis material was seized, along with an amount of cash. Western Power was called to a number of residences to render the properties safe after it was identified that power systems had been tampered with to bypass electricity meters to power hydroponic equipment.
It is believed all of the residences are linked to the same organised crime syndicate.
Detective Senior Sergeant Michael ROWSON from the WA Police Organised Crime Squad said the arrests were a significant outcome for the community.
“The organised crime syndicate we have identified is quite large, with significant resources being used to fund the operation. Ten people have been arrested, some of whom are in Australia unlawfully, and there will be ongoing work to identify other members of the syndicate.
“All illicit drugs have an impact on the wider community. The sale of Cannabis contributes to local volume crime offences such as burglaries, stealing offences, and other crimes committed by people to fund their drug purchases.
“Dismantling this syndicate’s operation in the southern suburbs is a significant result for the community and we will continue efforts to identify those people involved in the illicit drug market.”
A 42 year old man from Rockingham has been charged with three counts of Cultivate a Prohibited Drug with Intent to Sell or Supply and three counts of Fraudulent Appropriate of Power. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Rockingham Magistrates Court today, Thursday 24 November 2016.
A 26 year old man from New South Wales has been charged with one count each of Cultivate a Prohibited Drug with Intent to Sell or Supply and Fraudulent Appropriate of Power. He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Rockingham Magistrates Court today, Thursday 24 November 2016.
Four of the arrested persons have been released, pending further investigation. Six of the arrested persons, including the two who are appearing on court today, were referred to the Australian Border Force for further investigation. Four have subsequently been detained as unlawful non-citizens and transferred to Yongah Hill IDC, and investigations relating to the two appearing in court are ongoing.