Five men are today due in court after police shut down a sophisticated hydroponic cannabis operation in the Tweed region yesterday.

Strike Force Waragal was established by the Tweed/Byron Target Action Group in November last year to investigate allegations of the commercial cultivation, processing and supply of cannabis in the Tweed Heads area.

Yesterday they raided seven properties at Cudgera Creek, Burringbar, Terranora, Banora Point and Palmvale, arresting seven men and seizing hundreds of cannabis plants worth about $2 million, tens of thousands of dollars in cash and hydroponic equipment valued at about $100,000.

  • A 28-year-old Burringbar man was charged with three counts of enhanced cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes, cultivate prohibited plant, supply prohibited drug and firearms offences.
  • A 55-year-old Cudgera Creek man was charged with two counts of enhanced cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes and one count of possess prohibited drug.
  • A 53-year-old Banora Point man was charged with enhanced cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes.
  • A 38-year-old Tweed Heads man was charged with two counts of enhanced cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes and possess prohibited weapon.
  • A 25-year-old Cudgera Creek man was charged with two counts of enhanced cultivation of cannabis for commercial purposes.

The men were refused bail to appear before Lismore Local Court today.

Further charges are expected and inquiries by Strike Force Waragal are continuing.

Police say that anyone who suspects drug activity in their local area should contact their local police station or phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish.