On Tuesday the criminal court in Tournai sentenced a 54-year-old Dutch citizen to 4 years in prison, half of which were suspended for 5 years, on the charge of having cultivated 2,292 cannabis plants at a farm in Estaimbourg (Estaimpuis). His 20-year-old son was given a 4-month suspended sentence on top of the time already spent in preventive custody. Two other men were acquitted. The utilities firm Ores will receive 77,361 euros in compensation for the power stolen from their network.
On April 9th 2014, local policemen from the Val de l’Escaut region intervened with federal police forces at an isolated farm in the Estaimpuis countryside, where they suspected they would find a cannabis plantation. They found 2,292 plants in a very well organised complex. Amongst other installations were a nursery, and a special drying area where 11 kilos of cannabis plants were drying and 5 more kilos ready for market.
4 men were on the premises at the time, all Dutch, and were arrested and served with an arrest warrant.
The investigation showed that 2 of the men had been hired to do some work on the farm and had only arrived a couple of days earlier. They were acquitted of all charges.
The tenant of the farm is still in custody; he claimed he was recruited by Russians after a gambling debt.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)