DOWNLOAD THE FREE LiSTNR APP
Nine news

Massive Cash Seizure And 700 Cannabis Plants Confiscated In Melbourne Raids

Officers from the Victoria Police’s VIPER Taskforce have dismantled a sophisticated Albanian crime syndicate, charging two individuals in Melbourne’s north-west.

Police executed five warrants at residences in Taylors Hill, Greenvale, Taylors Lakes, Deer Park, and Rockbank on Tuesday.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Victorian Briefing – keeping you in the loop with news as it hits:

During the operation, police seized around $200,000 in cash from the Taylors Hill address, and a total of over 700 cannabis plants were seized from other properties. 

A 47-year-old Taylors Hill man, believed to be the ringleader of the syndicate, has been charged with cultivating and trafficking a large commercial quantity of cannabis, along with possessing proceeds of crime. 

A 44-year-old Deer Park woman, who was on a student visa, was also arrested.

Police allege she was the “crop sitter” for the syndicate, and was charged with cultivating and trafficking a commercial quantity of cannabis. 

She has been bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 8 Jan, 2024.

RELATED:   Albanese To Announce Extension Of Energy Price Relief In May Budget

The investigation, launched in June, began with a tip-off about suspicious activities at one of the addresses. 

Police said this operation has led to the seizure of over a tonne of cannabis valued at approximately $5 million.

Detective Acting Inspector Leigh Howse from the VIPER Taskforce said the police will continue to confront organised crime head on.

“These alleged grow houses were sophisticated set ups, and as a result of this operation, a tonne of illicit cannabis is now on a one-way ticket to being destroyed,” Inspector Howse said.

“Community tip-offs play a crucial role in any investigation – if you observe or hear any suspicious behaviour such as covering or blacking out windows, strong plant smells and unusual vehicle or pedestrian movement, please call police.” 

Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia’s fastest-growing news podcast on Listnr today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.