Spanish police seize largest amount of marijuana ever worth £56 million
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Spanish police have seized the largest amount of marijuana ever, worth a staggering £56 million.
A total of 32 tonnes of packaged cannabis were found by officials, which is the largest amount found in Spain and internationally, according to Spain's Civil Guard.
The discovery by police was part of a wider operation called Gardens, where police raided a series of farms and production plants across Spain.
As part of Operation Gardens, police say nine men and 11 women, aged between 20 and 59, were arrested.
According to Spain's Civil Guard, they were part of an organisation with headquarters in Toledo, Ciudad Real, Valencia and Asturias.
The organisation controlled the entire process from production to distribution in the illegal dealings.
Through their complex business network, they sent marijuana across Spain, as well as through other European countries such as Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Belgium.
Gang members were arrested at all of the organisation's headquarters last month, but details of the operation were only made public on Saturday (5 November).
In a statement, Spain's Civil Guard said: "The Civil Guard has seized the largest cache of packaged marijuana found so far.
"Operation Gardens has concluded with the seizure of 32,370.2 kilograms of marijuana buds, the largest seizure of this substance, not only in Spain, but internationally.
"It's equivalence in complete plants would be approximately 1,100,000 copies."
The operation was split into three different phases to ensure police seized the cannabis and caught those responsible.
It began with an inspection by the Civil Guard investigating several industrial hemp plantations in Toledo by looking at the movements of companies responsible for selling the seeds and for care, amongst other duties.
The second inspection took place in the town of Almagro where agents found 37,000 plants in four greenhouses, which were in the process of drying.
Three people were discovered at the time and subsequently - this led officials to Valencia as part of this second stage of the operation.
In this province, over 20,000 plants in the process of drying and over 230,000 packs of marijuana were discovered.
Officials also came across documents that pointed to existence of several more plantations and 15 people were arrested on the spot.
And finally, the third stage of the operation took place in the form of a new inspection in Asturias.
At this inspection, 4,000 plants were discovered and a further two people were detained.