Dutch police use mini helicopter to sniff out cannabis
A canna-chopper fitted with cameras and apparatus that can detect the smell of marijuana has successfully tracked down an illegal cannabis operation.ACHTERHOEK – Police in the northeastern Achterhoek region Tuesday reveal the success of using an unmanned miniature helicopter to track down the illegal cultivation of cannabis.
The first flight of a newly-designed mini helicopter, or canna-chopper, fitted with cameras and a sniffer on Tuesday morning had already led to the discovery of a cannabis drying shed and a plant cutting facility, said police spokesman Anton de Ronde.
The canna-chopper is fitted with apparatus that takes air samples out of ventilator shafts and chimneys. A dedicated gas analyser is able to recognise traces of weed smell in the air samples.
Designed and built by Dutch police engineers, the mini helicopter, which can stay airborne for a maximum of eight hours, is used to track down indoor cannabis plantations.
In an interview with De Volkskrant, Johan Warmerdam of the anti-marijuana plantation squad said cannabis plantation is a huge industry worth as much as EUR 2 billion where 80 percent of the marijuana is exported.
The helicopters are not breaking the law as samples can be taken without entering the building, stressed the police.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica