By ROSELYN ELLISON
A GARDEN was searched and a total of 104 marijuana plants were found and uprooted on Saturday at Tanvirua village in the Kabaira area of Gazelle, East New Britain.
According to Senior Inspt Gabriel Bandy, the police were tipped off by the newly-elected ward member for Kaibaira about the marijuana garden.
They were on special patrol to the area as they were looking for recent escapees from Kerevat jail.
Bandy said when police were at the site, they were also tipped off by the ward member about the garden.
“Police on foot patrol went to the garden and uprooted 104 marijuana plants and from that, 72 were matured ones while the rest were young plants,” he said.
He said police uprooted all the plants including the young ones.
“The owners of the plants were not around but their names were given to us and we expect to arrest them soon.”
Bandy said eight names were given to them and one of the suspects was believed to be one of the juvenile who escaped from prison recently but police will have to confirm with the Kerevat jail.
He also said the eight suspects owned the marijuana garden and while uprooting the plants, the police also found gas cylinders with gas bottles used for producing homebrew.
“We were also told, by the same ward member that, there were eight other marijuana gardens in the area and he would organise to have all the plants uprooted,” he said.
“Police will go back to Kaibaira anytime and my appeal to those eight suspects is to surrender.”
Bandy said cultivating marijuana was a serious offence and police would come down hard on whoever was cultivating and selling the illegal drug.
He estimated the street value of the uprooted marijuana to be around K5,000 to K6,000.
“Life is hard, we are all depending on money that is why people are going into doing illegal business such as growing and selling marijuana but there are other positive options for us to look into such as growing fresh vegetable for sale instead of selling drugs,” he said.
Bandy said police would make sure the other eight gardens were found and destroyed.
By ROSELYN ELLISON