Family renting Airbnb house raided by Queensland police for elaborate cannabis operation

January 9
3:40 AM 2016

A family from Sydney renting a house in Gold Coast in Queensland via Airbnb was shocked when police officers stormed and raided the house for an elaborate marijuana plantation in an "off-limits" room.

Telegraph UK reported that Dieter Winkler, along with his wife and five children were preparing barbecue in a rented three-bedroom house on December 27 when ten police officers kicked the door down and raided the property when they found a hydroponic cannabis operation in one of the bedrooms. The family was questioned for five hours at the lounge room during the extensive search.

In a report by Yahoo News, Winkler said the authorities didn't know they were innocent, which made it a very unfriendly encounter. He said the experience was "quite mortifying." The family spent $1,800 for an 11 night stay at the three bedroom house in Burleigh Heights, which they had used for less than a day when the incident happened.

Winkler said the female owner of the house told them that the off-limits room had faulty electric wires. However, he wondered why the lights have been on round the clock. The Daily Telegraph wrote that after the police ransacked the family's possessions, the door to the "off-limits" room was kicked open and found an extensive hydroponic cannabis setup.

The room had eight marijuana plants, and its faulty wires could have easily led to fire. The room was right next to where the children were sleeping.

Airbnb refunded the rental cost and offered to give an additional £1,250 for the family who was forced to live on an alternative house. An Airbnb spokesman said, "The activity is illegal and absolutely does not reflect the views of Airbnb."

Meanwhile, the 40-year-old woman who owns the house was charged with unlawfully producing dangerous drugs and is scheduled to appear in a court February 28.

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