Hundreds charged, cannabis plants seized in biggest UK sting

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More than 450 people were charged in the UK and hundreds of thousands of cannabis plants worth millions of pounds seized in a massive operation throughout June, British police said Friday.

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Police say cannabis production is a cash cow for organized crime, fueling gang violence as groups compete for territory.

“We know that organized networks involved in cannabis production are also directly linked to an array of other serious criminality such as class A drug importation, modern slavery and wider violence and exploitation,” said Steve Jupp, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for serious organized crime.

“This operation not only successfully disrupted a significant amount of criminal activity, but the intelligence gathered will also help inform future law enforcement activity across the country.”

Operation Mille saw searches and arrests carried out across England and Wales “at a scale and pace not seen before.”

“Nearly 200,000 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of between £115-£130 million ($147 million - $166 million) were seized,” police added in a statement.

Around 1,000 people were arrested and of those, “more than 450 were later charged.”

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