Illegal cannabis cultivators stole €60 million electricity last year

Dutch police inspect a cannabis plantation in a house (Stock Photo: Politie)Dutch police inspect a cannabis plantation in a house (Stock Photo: Politie)

The illegal cannabis farms discovered and closed down in the Netherlands last year stole a total of around 60 million euros in electricity, according to Netbeheer Nederland. Some 114 kilowatt hours of electricity were stolen by the caught cannabis cultivators, NOS reports.

A total of 2,300 cannabis plantations were found and dismantled last year, compared to 2,600 the year before. Netbeheer Nederland estimates that cannabis cultivators steal around 1 billion kWh of electricity per year for their farms. That is more than all the households in Rotterdam consume in a year, according to the grid manager.

Energy theft is dangerous because the plantations are often not properly connected, the grid manager said. The fact that illegal cannabis plantations are increasingly being found in residential areas, is a major source of concern, according to Netbeheer Nederland.