An unprecedented finding in a monastery on the island of Crete: 1,152 cannabis plants. Many of them had rosaries on their branches – most likely for a divine blessing for a good harvest…? The plants are estimated to bring one ton of hashish and around 2 million euros revenues when sold in the market. The plantation was found within the premises of the Monastery of Savvathiana, in the regional unit of Heraklio.
Speaking of a “mammoth hashish plantation,” local media neakriti.gr reported that special police forces, anti-terror and anti-drugs units raided the premises on Monday and now are seeking to identify and locate the drug lords.
The plantation was reportedly set up on the outskirts of the monastery. Next to cultivation area a processing unit was found. The specially designed area was used as a drying room. There 27.5 kilograms of hashish ready for sale were found.
It seems that the perpetrators had passed through the monastery as pilgrims to make sure that even though they were at a “breathing” distance from the facilities, the plantation remained unseen.
It is worth mentioning that they had even hung rosaries on some of the cannabis saplings.
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The members of the criminal organization had cut through the barbed wire fencing of the monastery and made their way into the dense ravine located directly above the premises. They leveled two areas by cutting down trees and bushes to install the two plantations, creating a veritable fortress and a network of tunnels through the vegetation that connected the two levels, the observatory area and the escape exits they had taken care to create.
A few meters before the entrance to the first level, they had created a pond to water the 1,152 saplings, which was done with a water hose.
The headquarters, the place where the cultivators of the plantation stayed, had been installed on the lower side. They prepared food on site, while right next to a covered area they dried hemp, which they probably guarded heavily armed. Sacks with 27 kilograms of hash ready for sale were found.
The profits of the growers are estimated to exceed 2 million euros.
During the operation, a two-level plantation with a total of 1,152 hemp seedlings was identified in an extremely difficult to access forest area of Rodia area in the Regional Unit of Heraklion.
The cannabis plants were diligently cultivated and were in the growth stage up to 2.5 meters high. They were uprooted and confiscated. Confiscated were also the 27.5 kilograms of hashish.
According to Creta TV, several people who had access to the monastery have been detained.
Locals are reportedly shocked that the drug lords did not respect the holiness of the monastery.