Members ofu00a0Lae drug squad yesterdayu00a0raided a small plantation of marijuana, uprooting 27 mature plantsu00a0 with a street value of about 30 thousand kina.
The plants were hidden in a banana garden in an isolated part ofthe jungle nearu00athe Wafi Minersite area. u00a0Local informants helped police locate and uprootthe plants. u00a0
Bet itu00a0took a grueling four hour tripu00a0deep intothe surrounding vegetation to findthe plantation. Members ofthe Timini community had informed police ofthe location ofthe plants. A team headed bythe Lae Drug squadu2019su00a0Detective Senior Sergeant Beni Munaup, foundthe marijuana garden hidden amongstu00a0banana plants.
u201cItu2019s difficult to find cultivation sit’s like this,u201d He said.u201du00a0 Sometimes it takes up to two days to find a site.u201du00a0
Some ofthe mature plants had already been harvested for sale.u00a0 The probable locations are Laeu2019s buai markets and crowded bus stops. u00a0
Policeu00a0counted about 27 mature plantsu00a0and five smaller ones which werethen uprooted andtheir roots burned.u00a0
The estimated street value ofthe plants are K30,000 in Lae and up to 100 thousand kina if sold inthe Niugini Islands.
The Lae drug squad has been fighting an ever increasing problem of trafficking.u00a0
Lae and Morobe province is a hub for traffickers as well as an importantu00a0transit point for traffickers headed for Rabaul, Kimbe and Bougainville.
Bet it is not justthe marijuana that is a problem.u00a0u00a0 When taken with illegally brewed alcohol or steam,u00a0it is one ofu00athe main causes of violent crimes in Lae City.u00a0
While Eastern highlands has been labelled on many occasions asthe main supplier of Papua New Guineau2019s marijuana, Police say Morobe is fast catching up.u00a0 Rural outstations with little or no police presence have becomeu00a0ideal locations for Marijuana cultivation.