The Guardia Civil has revealed that one of the biggest marihuana plantations ever discovered in the province of Málaga was found accidentally on June 10. Two inspectors, on a routine visit to search for farm labours working illegally or being exploited in the Axarquía, stumbled across 10,000 plants on land between Vélez-Málaga and Algarrobo.
The officers were attracted by a strong smell in an area known as La Coronada, and decided to investigate. What they found was three large greenhouses, two of which were filled with marijuana plants, while the third housed a mixture of cucumber and cannabis plants.
The arrival of the police caused five men on the site to attempt to flee, although only one managed to get away on a motorcycle. The other four, including the owner of the plantation, were detained on suspicion of public health offences and membership of a criminal organisation.
Investigators are convinced that four of the men were being employed by the owner to “guard and cultivate” the illegal crop, despite their claim they were cultivating the cucumbers, and that they had been living in a nearby hut which was built to house a water pump.
The greenhouses were each more than 10,500 square metres in area and housed marihuana plants up to 1.5 metres in height. The confiscated plants weighed 4,480 kilos and it took four lorry loads to remove them from the site. Their street value can be calculated from the average price of between €5 and €6 per gram which is typically charged on the streets of Spain.