After an investigation lasting several years, investigators in Carinthia have busted a major drug-growing and distribution operation, and arrested four suspects.
Hundreds of kilograms of drugs - mainly cannabis - were seized by more than 50 police officers in raids on locations in the towns of Villach and Klagenfurt in Austria on Thursday.
Four people have been arrested, although it's likely that further arrests will be made. "We want to investigate further accomplices," said criminal police department Colonel Herbert Rogl.
The arrests are the culmination of a major investigation coordinated by the State Criminal Investigation department lasting several years, in which a primary suspect and three accomplices have been detained so far for questioning.
Around 500 plants were seized by police at two outdoor plantations near Klagenfurt, as well as vacuum-packed herbal cannabis and utensils for cultivation and consumption.
Vacuum packaging equipment and smoking paraphernalia. Photo: Police
According to police reports, the suspects not only supplied the end product, but also offered buyers a range of equipment for growing their own cannabis, including indoor tents, ventilation apparatus and irrigation systems, as well as heat-lamps to encourage indoor growth.
The suspects are alleged to have carried out a flourishing trade in packaged cannabis, which was sent to customers via parcel post. Several kilograms of vacuum-sealed herbs were seized as evidence.