back to article Swiss cops sniff out dope plantation on Google Earth

Swiss police reported yesterday they "stumbled across" a sizeable dope plantation which had helpfully been captured on Google Earth, AP reports. The happy find came last year during an investigation into an alleged drug ring. Officers were using Google Earth to find the addresses of a couple of farmers suspected of involvement …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    is it wise

    To deprive the Swiss, one of the highest gun ownership's per head, of so much weed?

    "there are about 420,000 assault rifles stored at private homes"


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Google maps.

    Where's the link to google maps, or google earth for future reference your loyal readers should be made aware of what a field of herb looks like!

    Helicopter, because that's the new way to score!

  3. John A Blackley

    Not thinking

    In these times of economic uncertainty and depression, the Swiss police have succeeded in closing down an immensely profitable business that employed a significant number of people.

    Yes, the business was - strictly speaking - in contravention of some 'law' or other but come on! Shurely desperate times require desperate measures so it's time for the Swiss plods to get a little creative in their application of these 'laws' and to allow the spirit on entrepeneurism to drag us back from the edge of the economic abyss.

  4. AndyC
    Thumb Down

    And no link to the offending snaps?

    Why, I am most disapointed...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought the Swiss

    were quite liberal when it came to pot.

    One way out of the economic black hole of despair we find ourselves in, is to legalise pot, create a new economy, bring it out of the black economy, have some nice coffee houses, and people thinking the big thoughts for economic recovery.

    My bet though is Labour will do the opposite, and oh yes they have, they have moved it back up the list of dangerous drugs.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    A title is required

    pics or it didn't happen

  7. Paul


    Every time I've looked on Google Earth the images seem to be two years out of date - my friend's car is still parked outside my house a year after he last came to visit.

    How the hell was the weed still there when the cops arrived? :D

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if they "tested" some?

    I do wonder if the swiss police tested some to see how "good" or "bad" it was...

    Why when I read this story did I get images of the "toffs" from Lock, Stock n Two smoking barrels and maybe a bit of Layer Cake as well...

    Yes so where is the obigitry google earth / map link just so we can erm "check" it out...

  9. OFI


    Anyone have a Google Maps link? :-D

  10. Smallbrainfield


    is a wonderful name.

  11. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    @John A Blackley

    They already are a little creative in applying the law, although in a different sense. As we all know, the WEF is going on in Davos. And as it happened there, some shop owner put some Tibetan stuff on display in his/her shop window. He was 'asked' by the police to remove this things based on the overstretching of a anti demonstration act.

    It looks like they're getting closer to conditions such as in the UK...

    @AC have a look at,-4.064941&sspn=12.918331,38.452148&ie=UTF8&ll=47.595977,9.152985&spn=0.46026,1.20163&t=h&z=10&iwloc=addr

    It can't be that difficult. After all, Switzerland is a rather tiny place and it's only part of it.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    For a field of green with a smaller field of darkergreen in the middle...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3-10 million francs a year?

    that's up t about £6Million!

    £6 million that the swiss government would rather went to these criminals than to their own coffers.

    Legalise and tax! Less people in prison, more people to employ, more money for the gov't, less money for the criminals.

  14. Ray
    Paris Hilton

    @john blackely

    where do you think the profits from this operation would go? back into the regular economy? riiight... teh coppers they should jsut legalise teh gunja innit??!??!

    paris coz she's all about het blow.

  15. Jodo Kast

    @John: Request Denied

    No common sense found!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The Old Dope Patch in the Cornfields

    That was the reason we never penetrated too deeply into the fields when picking corn as a youngster in NZ - you never knew which ones might have a pot patch in the middle. The cops would hire light planes during the summer.

    And wandering through the pine forests of the Bay of Plenty could be downright dangerous.

  17. Paul


    How about this?,9.115412E

  18. scotchbonnet

    @John A. Blackley

    I understand your sentiment, or at least I think I do, but I have to ask - where does a civil society under tough economic pressure draw the line at being 'creative' about previously illegal money-making ventures? Let's say the drug in question was heroin rather than weed - still OK to help out the national economy with that? How about a gigantic fraud ring located in Switzerland - still OK? How about manufacturing nuclear dirty bombs and suicide vests to sell to terrorists? Hey, I know, how about human trafficking? Ooh here's a good one - international murder for hire - killing people on contract in any country but Switzerland. Is it still OK for the national economy to benefit from that endeavour?

    The reason that most peoples stay away from slippery slopes such as the one you've proposed is that simply using the ability to generate money as your only criterion for making moral and ethical judgments usually ends badly. When considered through your eyes, the issue at hand may represent an acceptable risk, but once unleashed, the impetus of pure unadulterated greed will eventually turn around to violate some other social covenant that's more near and dear for you.

  19. Secretgeek

    @Is it wise?

    What? At each of them?

    That's an awful lot of guns.

  20. Schultz Silver badge


    You live on a dangerous slope, man. Careful where you step!

    Everybody else, relax and light a smoke.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @ Scotchbonnet

    Christ, you can always guarantee that there's some f*cking wowser who turns up and ruins the party - and today that is YOU.

    What is it with people who have a massive chip on their shoulder about anything vaguely cannabis related that they have a complete absence of humour. Oh yeah, now growing pot = manufacturing dirty bombs, why stop there - I'm sure in your mind that you could somehow rationalise that lighting a blunt is the main contributing factor in global warming. Nice attempt at looking intellectual, but your comments are only vaguely coherent. Why dont to just go and suck on a big bong for a while and chill out.

    (either that or you already have and you're just Trolling)

    now, where were we

    I know that the Swiss are leaders in pharmeceuticals but I'm quite impressed that you can grow good quality oudoor weed in Switzerland. Now I know that HASH actually stands for High Altitude Skunk Horticulture.

    @ Simon Blakeley, you should have tried growing up in Tokoroa mate, those massive pine forrests weren't just full of trees. It was considered a perk of working in the bush that you were free to help yourself when felling.

    those flames are from my zippo

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    sorry mate, but "Let's say the drug in question was heroin/nukes/murder rather than weed" does rather change the argument.

    John was suggesting that the enforcement of law could be less aggressively pursued, based on the benefits and harms to the host society.

    Freedom, if you believe in it, has to allow people to do stuff that has a potential to cause them harm.

  23. StillNoCouch
    Paris Hilton

    Something very similar happend in my home town

    A few years ago, a small-operation farmer in my home town of Columbia, Illinois (USA) decided he would do a little cash cropping of his own ... about 15 acres of it.

    So that it wouldn't be seen, he planted a 10-foot wide swath of Sunflowers (they grow very tall and dense, you know) around the square-proportioned 15 acre pot-field.

    He was right ... you sure couldn't see it ... unless of course, you were flying a State Police Traffic Helicopter over the interstate running right next to it.

    He got 12 years.

    Paris: She's smokin' hot (not pot)

  24. Anonymous Coward


    ..driving the trade underground, ensuring criminal gang profitability and (if you believe a word any government says), keeping terrorists in beer, cigs and RPG's.

    The most serious problems society faces in regard to illegal drugs are as a direct result of their prohibition.

  25. Ali

    It's all about money...

    Last I knew you could still buy fully-budded plants in head shops and bags in 'herbal remedy' shops, so I doubt they were concerned with the health of the nation.

    Several million CHF per year in lost taxes however..... they were never going to let that ride!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    where is the morality in banning a plant? i fail to see the extension from smoking a spliff to selling a bomb vest? that's a pointless and silly argument. Alcohol kills people, it causes them to do very stupid things. There will be violence, car crashes and teenage pregnancies happening tonight because of alcohol. me? i'll be home with a couple of cups of coffee, a few fat joints and season 4 of red dwarf. nobody will be injured, and tomorrow i'll get up and go to work with a clear head.

  27. ian

    7,500 m2!

    I didn't know Switzerland was that large, but now we know the herb in riccola, and it ain't edelweiss!

  28. Gilbert Wham


    Well, er, yes. People sell dope to make a living. They need to buy food, pay rent, drive cars and pay astronomical electricity bills for all those pumps & halogen lamps...

  29. Frank Russo

    Decriminalize it

    Pot wouldn't need dealers if it were legalized. It's a weed. It grows almost everywhere. Anyone who wanted it could simply toss their seeds in the back garden, pick out the males, and be set year round. The only downside to this would bee the regular friendly visits from neighbors wanting a dimebag.

  30. b166er


    Tobacco companies continue to peddle their wares. Their crops are also clearly visible on Google Maps.

    Hypocrisy, hypocrisy, yet another plutocracy.

  31. CTG


    Thanks for so neatly demonstrating the muddle-headed circular logic that keeps drugs illegal.

    Me: Why is cannabis illegal?

    Dickhead: Because it is bad

    Me: Why is cannabis bad?

    Dickhead: Because it is illegal...

    Me: Fuck off dickhead

  32. Anonymous Coward

    like a fuel tax

    Here in us of a , if you brew your own fuel , you are supposed to pay a tax.. I am sure they could figure a tax for other plants..But they bettor not tax my tomatoes..

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    fishing for fear

    If you've seen the resolution available from Google Maps/Earth over rural Switzerland, you may find this story rather bullshitty.

    If you could differentiate rows of corn from an apple orchard, you'd be doing well, much less discern cannabis from corn. Moreover, most imagery used for Google Maps/Earth is a couple of years old in most cases, not terribly conducive to spotting cannabis grows, given they are annual plants. Few Google images are updated frequently enough to make them of any use in spotting crops of annuals.

    Sounds like LEO is going on a bit of a terrorising expedition here.


  34. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Pro wrestling

    Well, these busts are all for show. Just like the rat catchers, wrestlers and roach hunters, some are always left for future employment.

    Without drugs, arms smuggling and the trade in human flesh the profit rate would fall catastrophically, cos these areas of investment have such a high profit rate that (equalized out) it keeps the general rate of profit higher than it would be otherwise.

    That's why the opium poppy is bigger than ever in Afghanistan. Coca in Colombia, etc. The white slave trade as it used to be known is globalizing with the speed of a bushfire, and weapons are accumulating everywhere. Wait till China and India get arming the citizens...

    Booze and coffin nails are also good earners and bringers of death, but too deeply rooted in our "culture" to be banned - too dangerous, ie too big a threat to the state monopoly of violence and terror, as Prohibition showed back during the (oh dear) Great Depression...

    Unemployment is good for profits too - keeps wages low. The next-best thing to war for profits, though, is the "peaceful" destruction of capital going on at the moment.

    But that's probably another story.

    (Paris, cos for the likes of us, she's another story altogether...)

  35. ClammyLammy

    A possible Location

    The link I've seen that looks most promising is:,9.057808&z=16&t=h&hl=de

    The odd rectangle in the middle of the other greenery... Certainly looks like something's being concealed.


  36. Anonymous Coward


    Me: Why is cannabis illegal?

    Dickhead: Because it is bad

    Me: Why is ......ummm....what was the question ?

  37. John Blagden


    For comments on legality read Ben Elton's 'High Society'.

    Yes, those are Rizla's in my pocket Hofficer.

  38. Francis Offord
    Thumb Up

    Well, who'd have thought it.

    Could this be another thriving industry for the Swiss? It could supplement their income from "Cuckoo Clocks" and "Rolls." but knowing them they would take away all the fun.

  39. Kieran Marsh


    So the police nabbed 11.1 tonnes, but reckon the gang only sold 7 tonnes over a 5 year period, a little over a tonne a year. That leaves the best part of 10 tonnes between 16 people. Hard to see why you would need google earth to find somebody who is smoking half a tonne a year!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    re: pot will save the world

    "people thinking the big thoughts for economic recovery."

    umm.. Are you stoned right now? People on drugs (specifically marijuana) generally do not say anything interesting or clever. They do speak a lot of funny nonsense though.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Coward

    They do speak a lot of funny nonsense though.

    Yeah, at least they have something to say thats worth listening to..

    And yes, i am stoned right now.

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