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 large gas explosion in The Hague in January shows that cast iron gas pipelines pose a risk to the entire Netherlands, the state supervision on mines SodM concluded after investigating the explosion in the crawl space of the Hague apartment building. There are still 3,830 kilometers of dangerous gas pipelines in the Netherlands, and network operators must remove and replace these pipelines more quickly, the SodM said, NOS reports.
Illegal cannabis cultivation costs Dutch society around 200 million euros per year, through stolen electricity and missed taxes, according to the sector organization for gas and electricity network operators Netbeheer Nederland, NU.nl reports.
Drug criminals are getting better and better at hiding their illegal cannabis plantations, according to grid manager Stedin whose been working with the police on discovering such illegal farms. Last year around a thousand illegal cannabis farms were found in three major cities, 22 percent less than the year before. But Stedin is certain that the number of cannabis farms is on the rise, AD reports.
Last year 4,676 hemp farms were broken up that were connected to energy theft, Netbeheer Nederland announced today on behalf of all the regional grid managers. Their figures show that fewer cannabis plantations that were stealing electricity were broken up, but that more energy was stolen (140 million kWh in 2013 to 147 million kWh in 2014).