Police uncovered an enormous drug haul, the most significant Costa Blanca bust in decades, at a farm in Elche. More than 10,000 cannabis plants were seized from a sophisticated greenhouse set-up.
The haul weighed more than three tons and has an estimated street value of an astonishing €9 million, with the plantation spread across 6,000m2 in Torrellano, just west of the airport.
National Police officers and specialist narcotics officers raided the premises, confiscating the plants and paraphernalia but made no arrests.
The owner of the greenhouse is considered a witness and is apparently completely unaware his property was the centre of drug production on an industrial scale.
The quantities produced were so huge police had to call Alicante City Hall to request a truck to remove the weed, and even then needed multiple journeys to transport the 10,500 plants.
Whoever masterminded it knew precisely what they were doing: equipment included automatic irrigation systems, timed temperature controls, hydroponics, and decoy plants to mask the marihuana.
The smell gave the greenhouse away as local residents eventually sensed it was no ordinary stench and contacted authorities.
A bust on this scale has not been witnessed on the south Costa Blanca for at least 15 years. The culprits, for the time being, appear to have vanished.