Plans for the biggest and most audacious cannabis crop in WA history — uncovered during a police raid north of Perth last week — had received official approval as a growing operation for Lebanese cucumbers before 7500 seedlings were planted in rows of commercial greenhouses.

Documents reveal that the unsuspecting Gingin Shire council thought it was signing off on an intensive horticultural project for the cucumbers as well as strawberries and tomatoes when it gave the green light in June.

But when officers attached to Taskforce Silverdrift swarmed the Mogumber Road West property nine days ago, they discovered more than $10 million worth of unguarded cannabis.

Word of the raid spread along the sparsely populated road linking Brand Highway to the historic Mogumber settlement in Red Gully and no one was more stunned than the owner of the land being leased by a Vietnamese man for what turned out to be a sophisticated criminal enterprise.

Read more at The West Australian (Gary Adshead and Tim Clarke)