In Australia yesterday, police carried out a dawn raid on an organised crime syndicate...
Police executed 44 search warrants at properties in a number of northern and western suburbs including Altona North, Williamstown, Truganina and Sunshine on Tuesday morning. They expect to make more arrests during the day.
More than 500 police officers, backed by other agencies, were involved in the operation, which began about 4.30am and will continue through the day.
They seized firearms, drugs, cash, ammunition, vehicles and allegedly stolen property.
But they also walked out with something else...
The haul included 100kg of dried cannabis, 35,000 tobacco plants and nine firearms, Mr Fontana said.
35,000 tobacco plants! Do you know how big tobacco plants are? Can you imagine how much room you need for 35,000 of them?
The question is why do tooled-up criminal gangs, who already have a huge stock of an illegal drug, want to farm enormous quantities of a product that you can buy over the counter?
He said tobacco plants, which were seized from a property near Geelong, were grown to avoid millions of dollars in excise tax.
No fooling. I guess having a Prohibition-era problem with black market tobacco is a small price to pay for being a 'world leader' in tobacco control and getting a gong from the WHO.*
This madness has to stop. Australia has brought it on themselves, but governments elsewhere should let the shipwrecks of others be their landmark.
* Tobacco control assures us that there is no connection between eye-wateringly high tobacco taxes and the growth of the black market, so everything's okay, you can go back to sleep. They would never lie to you. They're professionals.