A 58-year-old Icelander is believed to be one of the ringleaders of a major marijuana plantation in Molina de Segura, Spain, RÚV reports. He rented a warehouse in which the drugs were produced. The facility produced at least ten tons of cannabis a month, valued at up to ISK 30 billion (USD 241 million, EUR 210 million).
Four Icelanders were arrested in connection with the case. Two were arrested attempting to leave Spain by car, and one while preparing to board a flight to Iceland from Alicante-Elche Airport. Altogether, seven Dutch citizens were arrested, among them a couple who are suspected of being the ringleaders along with the Icelander who rented the warehouse.
The Spanish online newspaper Murcía Today quotes investigators describing the facility as “the most sophisticated yet found in Europe.” Six thousand cannabis plants were grown at the converted warehouse, making use of expert technological and agrarian knowledge. The asset value of refrigeration, lighting and watering equipment, as well as hydroponic cultivation systems, is estimated at ISK 142 million (USD 1.14 million, EUR one million). There are indications the drug ring was very well organized as well as financed.
Ten tons of cannabis are thought to have been produced at the facility a month and shipped to the Netherlands. The owner of the building believed the warehouse was being used to produce and develop insulation material. Suspicions arose when nearby companies began complaining of power outages. No contracts had been made by the suspects with an electrical company and all electricity for the plantation was illegally obtained.
Police investigation revealed plans for another similar facility in Crevillente, in the province of Alicante, Spain.