A routine patrol looking for illegal workers has led to the discovery of one of the largest marijuana plantations ever found in Malaga province: almost 10,000 plants, some of which were five feet tall, distributed across three greenhouses.
The discovery took place on the morning of 10 June in an area called La Coronada, located between Algarrobo and Vélez-Málaga. Attracted by the strong smell emanating from the greenhouses, the Guardia Civil officers decided to inspect the property. There they found two greenhouses full of marijuana and a third which contained cucumbers, plus more stalks of cannabis sativa.
Upon entering, the officers saw five men, all of whom tried to run away. One succeeded, escaping on a moped, but the others were arrested on suspicion of crimes against public health and membership of a criminal organisation. Among those arrested was the owner of the farm, a resident of the Axarquía, who admitted that the marijuana plantation was his.
The officers were quickly able to ascertain that the other three men were carrying out cultivation and security work and were sleeping in the water motor hut just 20 metres away. In that building, 21 sacks containing 155 kilos of marijuana ready for processing were found, as well as a mattress with a pillow and a blanket, several mobiles and a walkie-talkie.
The three greenhouses covered an area of between 10,500 and 10,900 square metres. In the first there were 1,640 plants between 40 and 80 centimetres tall. In the second they found another 6,340 plants, half of which were about 1.5 metres high. In the third, the mixed one, they found another 1,810 plants up to 90 centimetres.
The plants, once cut, weighed 4,480 kilos. They had to use a scale for heavy vehicles and make four trips with a truck to transport them because of their size. Samples were taken so that their composition and concentration could be analysed and the market value calculated. However, even if only as a guide, the price per gramme of marijuana in Spain is between five and six euros.
The Guardia Civil also carried out a search of the farm owner's home where they found a shotgun loaded with five cartridges and an airgun.
This is the second time that marijuana has been found hidden in greenhouses supposedly being used for fruit and vegetable growing in the Axarquía. A month ago, the National Police located another 18,000 plants distributed in five greenhouses, hidden among cherry tomatoes.