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Crime in Hong Kong

Man charged over HK$16 million worth of cannabis plants in Hong Kong village house

Suspect arrested after officers swoop on Sheung Shui home to find large cannabis farm

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 April, 2018, 10:02pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 April, 2018, 10:02pm

A man was charged on Sunday over more than 1,200 cannabis plants seized in a police raid on a village house in Sheung Shui that had been turned into an indoor marijuana farm.

The 37-year-old man was accused of growing the plants, which had an estimated market value of more than HK$16 million (US$2 million).

Officers from the Narcotics Bureau swooped on the three-storey village block in Kam Tsin Village on Friday, finding 1,205 marijuana plants worth about HK$16.5 million inside, senior inspector Ho Yun-yin from the bureau said.

The man was arrested on the premises.

Officers also found equipment such as solar lights, soil, nutrient solution, dehumidifiers and air conditioners, which they suspected had been used to cultivate the plants.

Bureau staff also raided a flat in a village block in Ha Che, Pat Heung, arresting a 45-year-old man inside on suspicion of conspiring to cultivate the plants. Ho said the second man was the tenant at the Sheung Shui village house. 

The older man was released on bail, and must report to police in June.

The younger man will appear in Fanling Court on Monday, to face one count of cultivating cannabis plants.

Ho said the farm had been operating for about six months, with different floors used to house plants at different stages of growth. He said his team was looking into whether any of the marijuana had been sold, and that further arrests were possible.

Police statistics showed the department seized about 845kg of cannabis last year, up from 242kg in 2016.

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Cannabis has been seized in the form of plants, buds, oil and resin. It is usually found to have been smuggled into the city from North America or mainland China, with some grown locally.

One gram of cannabis costs about HK$220 in Hong Kong, while HK$85 will buy a gram of buds. 

In January 2017, police seized their largest haul of cannabis buds in a decade, confiscating a 180kg consignment worth almost HK$29 million. Three men aged between 32 and 41 were apprehended during the raid, at a village in Yuen Long.