POLICE are looking for help from people in all regions to help further expose a national drug syndicate which has already resulted in 166 charges against 56 people.

Investigations started in May last year and have extended from Victoria to Queensland.

On Friday (November 25) a 57-year-old woman, and alleged head of the syndicate, was arrested in Victoria as part of the cannabis distribution operation.

Detectives successfully applied for the extradition of the woman to Brisbane, she was charged with seven charges including extortion, trafficking and producing dangerous drugs and assault occasioning bodily harm.

She was remanded in custody and is expected to next appear December 19.

As a result of the operation, 12 commercially sized cannabis facilities linked to the syndicate were identified and destroyed in Queensland and New South Wales.

Police have seized a total of 107,180 cannabis plants (with an estimated potential street value of $536 million), 636 kg of dried or packaged cannabis (with an estimated potential street value of $4.9 million), $379,700 in cash, seven commercial generators, two loaders and a forklift.

On October 6, police uncovered an extensive commercial cannabis production facility at a property in Isis Central, with an estimated potential street value of $234.5 million.

It will be alleged that the facility comprised of 51 green-houses, each approximately 80m long. Inside police located and seized 46,894 cannabis plants and seedlings, along with generators, hydroponic and other equipment police will allege was being used to grow the cannabis.

However, the distribution network is believed to stretch far and wide.

On August 8, police seized close to $40 million of cannabis following an investigation into commercial-scale unlawful cannabis production in the South West region.

The execution of the search warrant resulted from investigations that followed the intercept of a vehicle around 4.30pm July 18 on the Warrego Highway at Helidon travelling inbound to Brisbane.

Upon searching the vehicle, police officers located about 200kg of processed cannabis. Police will allege the cannabis was being transported from the property.

Police are appealing to anyone with information in relation to any drug or other criminal activity, including the recruitment and exploitation of people working for these syndicates, to contact crime stoppers.

Vietnamese speaking officers were made available to answer calls today.


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