Drug squad officers on Tuesday raided two marijuana cultivation centers in Tuen Mun and Yau Tong, seizing 2,004 pots of cannabis plants with a combined value of more than HK$38 million (US$4.9 million) in the largest seizure of locally cultivated plants in 27 years.
Eight Vietnamese men and two Vietnamese women aged between 26 and 54 were arrested. A couple with their son and daughter-in-law who are Hong Kong Identity Card holders were thought by police to be the masterminds behind the operation, Apple Daily reported.
The six other men came to the city illegally were paid 15 million Vietnamese Dong (US$660) a month to live inside the two centers and take care of the plants.
The police raided the two industrial units, which they said posed a high potential fire risk and were extremely unheigenic on 6 Kin Tai Street of Tuen Mun and 11 Sze Shan Street of Yau Tong, recovering 749 pots and 1,255 pots of cannabis plants respectively.
Together with 24 kilograms of cannabis buds seized from one of the units, the combined haul was 164 kilograms of cannabis were fetched, Wen Wei Po reported.
Police seized HK$6.61 million in cash and HK$110,000 worth of jewelry. They also froze six bank accounts containing HK$600,000 belonging to the family believed to be behind the operation.