The Spanish Civil Guard, in a joint operation with the Foral Police of Navarra, has dismantled the largest hemp plantation in Europe, cannabis sativa, destined for drug trafficking.
The operation has made it possible to arrest three people in Navarra and another two have been investigated in the Basque Country. In total, 415,000 plants have been destroyed that could have been sold for 30 million euros for processing into CBD (cannabidiol) and other derivatives, which once processed would reach 100 million euros in the market.
The investigation began in the middle of last year when an agent discovered a large hemp plantation of questionable legality. At that time, the investigations began between the two police forces in the towns of Artajona and Olite, where they found 11 hemp farms with some 415,000 plants and occupying an area of 67 hectares.
The person in charge of the cultivation, had given an apparent legality of the plantations carried out, informing the agents that the destination was the use of hemp for industrial use. However, the economic investment that this man had made, as well as the final destination of these plants to countries such as Switzerland or Italy, known for the processing of plants for the production of CBD-derived products, an activity prohibited in Spain, made suspect the investigators.
For this, the detainees had prepared a large industrial warehouse in the town of Artajona, which was equipped with a ventilation and temperature system for drying the plants.
In the course of the investigation, it became known that a truck loaded with these plants, already dry, was going to leave for Italy, so that shipment was intercepted when it left the “dryer” ship. Some 23,000 cannabis plants were seized inside.
In the registry of the interior of the ship, another 13,000 marijuana plants were found in the drying process, which yielded a total weight of 50,740 kilos. These plants have already been destroyed after the authorization of the Court of Instruction number 1 of Tafalla.
Subsequently, the rest of the plants that were still uncollected, and that added some 375,000 more, were cut down and destroyed.
In total, 415,000 cannabis sativa plants have been seized, three people have been arrested in Navarra and another two have been investigated in Bizkaia. They intended to sell the harvest obtained for an approximate amount of 30 million euros to companies located abroad, where the plants and buds would be processed to obtain CBD and other derivatives, whose final market value would be around 100 million euros.