Seven arrested during drug warrants in south east suburbs

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Drug haul: Police say they found “several thousand cannabis plants” after a series of raids across the south-east of Melbourne. Police executed a search warrant and seized items from Carrum Downs (pictured). Pictures: Supplied

Police have today arrested seven people and seized several thousand cannabis plants as part of an investigation into an organised drug syndicate operating in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs.

The Clandestine Laboratory Squad, along with detectives from Crime Command, Southern Metro Region and Eastern Region, plus members of the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force executed eight warrants at commercial and residential premises from 6am this morning as part of Operation Escapist.

These suburbs included Clayton South, Waterways, Springvale, Dandenong South, Pakenham, Rowville and Carrum Downs.

As a result, four men and three women were arrested and will now be interviewed by police.

Several significant hydroponic cannabis set-ups were located within factory buildings, with some of those holding approximately 1000 plants.

Drug manufacturing equipment, cocaine and cash were also located and seized during the raids.

Detective Acting Superintendent Craig Darlow, of the Victoria Police Crime Command Serious and Organised Crime Division, said today’s results were significant for Melbourne.

“Drug manufacture, trafficking and use in the Victorian community continues to be a major concern for police,” he said.

“Operations like this highlight the links that drugs have to organised crime, plus we are seeing time and time again that many of our most violent crimes such as homicides and shootings have their roots in the drug trade.

“The hydros that have been located today are absolutely on the larger end of the scale and we’re looking at seizing several thousand plants as part of this operation.

“Today’s result is incredibly pleasing for police and comes as a result of a lot of work put in not only by Victoria Police, but through working with our partner agencies.”

Anyone with information about illegal drug trafficking is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Victoria Police News – Wednesday, 17 July 2019

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