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Old 04-27-2010, 01:20 PM
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Angry NZ Police raid Switched On Gardener

Some very disturbing news from NZ today... (SOG is NZ's most prominent Hydro-shop)
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Police say they have closed down a major cannabis operation being run behind the facade of a legitimate gardening business.

A huge drug bust was executed this morning, closing down Hydroponic gardening chain Switched On Gardener and arresting 250 people as part of the sting operation.

Police swooped on 35 businesses and numerous homes throughout New Zealand, putting an end to two year undercover probe "Operation Lime", which targeted people and businesses responsible for the commercial sale of equipment to be used for growing cannabis.

The search warrants included all 16 branches and distribution centre of major national supplier of indoor growing supplies Switched On Gardener , a chain that regularly advertises on national television.

The managers, directors and employees have been arrested and police say will soon be facing charges.

Altogether over 250 people face over 700 charges.

Over 100 commercial cannabis growing operations linked to the businesses were also located on private properties and dismantled during the operation. A further 19 have been discovered today so far.

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The age of those arrested ranged from 20-years old to 60-years old.

Police also seized methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy and firearms.

Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope says they have broken the cornerstone of the illicit cannabis cultivation industry.

He says search warrants were executed in every police district.

"Cannabis is the most abused controlled drug in New Zealand. The harm that this drug causes New Zealand communities can be conservatively estimated at $430 million a year. It hurts every community in every part of the country," Pope says.

Pope says the undercover officers purchased equipment and were given advice on how to grow cannabis.

For two years, undercover officers posed as customers and purchased equipment to grow cannabis, got advice on how to maximise their crop and were even allegedly sold drugs by shop staff.

"Businesses have been committing these offences and supporting commercial cannabis growers and organised crime over a long period of time. This operation aimed to stop the supply of this equipment and has been very successful in doing so," he says.

Those arrested will be appearing in District Courts around the country today.

Police are planning to recover profits from the operation though the proceeds of crime law and not ruling out further arrests.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:35 PM
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We had a similar mass police action here back in the 80's/90's called "Operation Green Merchant".

People here learned, not to discuss cannabis in anyway in the shops. It is just a garden center then. And the dude that sold drugs should be punished, not the entire store or the staff. The staff was just doing their job, and a low paying one at that.

Well, if you're in NZ, better duck and cover till it all blows over. Good luck down there mates!
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:30 AM
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Yeah, NZ is a small country and people are lying low alright. The trick now is how to source nutes and gear without getting looked at.

Switched On Gardener shops are all open again, but they are required ask you for ID, to write down all your details and what you purchased, and then hand it over to police .... So they've probably lost 95% of their business.

A sad day in the Land of the Long White Cloud

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Old 10-20-2016, 11:51 AM
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This company hasn't truly recovered yet.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:30 PM
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Bump bump bump
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:35 AM
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Still not the same as it was...but people adapt.
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Old 11-06-2017, 02:04 AM
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Bump!
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