UPDATE: Operation Entity
Victoria Police’s historic pot busting mission, Operation Entity, continued on through to the weekend, racking up another 700 plants grown in suburban homes and their assorted farmers and sitters. It’s been a howling success, but underlying that success is the reality that this is only a temporary setback for the syndicates. As usual, any reduction of supply drives up prices of pot on the street. Dealers will actually withhold supply to drive up returns on their stocks in the knowledge that their profits may be down for a short period. It provides greater incentive for new entrants, given the penalties remain the same. Like any business, illegal drugs are all about the risk/reward ratio.
Read these link for the latest information: New Police Raids Find 700 Plants
This reporter did a little digging into this yesterday afternoon and came up with a couple of interesting tidbits. The syndicate bosses are largely based in Sydney, mainly Vietnamese nationals, but there have been no reported arrests in the harbour town yet. A well-placed source said previous harvests have made their way to Sydney where the growers are paid. The operation is decentralised with the gaggle of illegal immigrants and low level players in Victoria acting as contract growers, who bear most of the risk of producing quality and any legal heat they might face. Many of them end up in the trade to pay off gambling debts. The proceeds of the pot sales then finance the heroin coming into Australia.
It’s well-known in Melbourne that Lebanese-Australian kids are right into hydro pot growing as a means of financing other illegal activities including car rebirthing. There was talk earlier this year that some of the Lebanese kids in the northern suburbs were linking up with the Vietnamese organised crime gangs in the drugs trade but none were caught up in the latest raids. Operation Entity will have to rack up a few higher level arrests to be regarded as much more than a minor irritation to the pot trade.
Meanwhile, it’s still legal to import cannabis seeds into Australia, it’s only illegal to plant them. Crazy mixed up world huh?