The drugs plantation was run by Emanuele Mancuso, son of Pantaleone, head of the notorious 'Ndrangheta clan in the Calabrian town of Limbadi. 'Ndrangheta refers to Calabrian organized crime.
Using seeds purchased online, Mancuso had set up a vast plantation in Calabria's fertile hills. The trafficker controlled the plantation and its workers, many of whom were non-European migrants, using drones, adds the police report.
The police arrested Mancuso and 17 other accomplices and were able to “reconstruct the entire cannabis supply chain, identifying all the people involved,” said police in a statement.
Semi di canapa comprati online e piantagioni controllate attraverso i droni, quanto scoperto dalla #Squadramobile di Vibo Valentia
26mila piante in grado di produrre circa 2 milioni di dosi di hashish o marijuana, per un valore di 20 milioni di eurohttps://t.co/woSwOQ2lIm
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) July 21, 2018
Twenty one other suspects are being investigated for drug trafficking as part of the operation.
The plantation cultivated enough marihuana for two million doses. The offices of a company that sold cannabis seeds in 18 different Italian cities was also raided.