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Report of smoke from house leads Osaka cops to huge pot bust

Outside the residence in Tondabayashi
Outside the residence in Tondabayashi

OSAKA (TR) – A false fire report has lead Osaka Prefectural Police to bust a marijuana grow house inside a residence in Tondabayashi City, investigative sources revealed on Monday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Feb. 2).

On December 21, officers from the Tonabayashi Police Station, acting on a tip from a fire department, seized approximately 500 marijuana plants from the uninhabited residence. Lighting and water regulation equipment used for the cultivation of marijuana was also found inside.

Police subsequently arrested a Vietnamese male who had been seen at the residence on charges of possession of cannabis.

The suspect was also arrested as a part of separate bust in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. Investigators suspect that the two cases are connected to a large drug-trafficking ring.

Police were notified about the contraband in Tondabayashi after the fire fighting unit responded to a report of smoke emanating the residence. The unit later determined that the reported smoke was actually water vapor from the growing process.