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Police swoop on cannabis crop

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More than 9000 healthy cannabis plants have been recovered by Tasman Police in this year’s cannabis recovery operation.

The haul is the harvest of the recovery operation’s aerial phase, with Marlborough, Nelson Bays and the West Coast among the targeted areas.

Police were assisted in this phase of the operation by the Royal New Zealand Airforce with their NH90 helicopter enabling staff to reach difficult to access areas.

Operation Commander Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews says the haul was a significant increase on last year’s result. He says officers located some large commercial outdoor plots along with a number of indoor growing operations.

As a result, 13 people are facing a range of drug and firearms charges.

About 6000 plants were recovered in the Nelson-Marlborough area of the District and more than 3000 on the West Coast.

While the aerial phase has been completed, Grant says there was still a lot of work to be done following up on information gathered and further arrests were likely.

“This is a year-long operation and a significant part of the operation is gathering and checking information we receive from the public. I’d like to thank all of the people who have come forward with information about drug-related activity as they have greatly assisted this operation. Those people are actively helping to keep their communities safe and without that partnership our job would be significantly harder.”

Grant encourages anyone with information or concerns to contact their local police.