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One suspect arrested in raid on Balqa marijuana farm

By Rana Husseini - Mar 24,2014 - Last updated at Mar 24,2014

AMMAN — Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) and Special Forces agents raided a marijuana farm in Balqa and arrested a suspect at dawn on Monday, official sources said.

AND agents were acting on a tip they received that a farm in Balqa Governorate, some 35km northwest of Amman, was cultivating marijuana for limited local consumption, a police official told The Jordan Times.“One person was arrested without any major incidents,” the official said, adding that agents seized dozens of marijuana saplings. The State Security Court prosecution has been notified about the incident to “take legal action against the farm owners”, the official noted.

In a similar raid earlier this year, agents stormed nine farms and houses, also in Balqa, arresting 13 suspects and seizing 200 kilogrammes of marijuana seedlings.

At the time, an AND official told The Jordan Times that the raids were planned.

“Our campaigns are ongoing against farms and houses in this area, because we know that people regularly plant marijuana here,” the official said, adding that one way to closely monitor these houses is via aerial surveillance.

“We take aerial photos of farms and houses then analyse them to determine what kind of seedlings are being planted in each area,” he explained.

A total of 8,945 suspects were involved in around 6,504 drug cases last year, according to official figures. The authorities seized over 22 million Captagon pills, 444 kilogrammes of hashish and 5,007 kilos of marijuana in 2013.

According to AND statistics, 154 kilogrammes of marijuana were seized in 2011, 106 kilogrammes in 2010 and 30 kilogrammes in 2009.

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