When police in the eastern German state of Brandenburg swooped on a remote farm last week they were only on the hunt for large quantities of heating oil, which they suspected the farmer was illegally using to fuel his farm vehicles, Bild reports.
The 60-year-old Dutchman had ordered an unusually large batch of the stuff after complaining publicly in a local newspaper about the price of diesel.
At first the search of the huge 400-cow farm in Bad Belzig came up empty handed. But then the cops found a wooden door in the cellar of one of the barns which was bolted shut with a hefty padlock.
When they got inside they were astonished to find a drug haul so large it outweighed all the narcotics seized in the state in 2014 put together.
Alongside large quantities of cocaine, the silo also included marijuana and ecstasy, and is estimated to have a value over €1.5 million.
That wasn’t all, though.
The entrepreneurial farmer also appeared to be trading in illegal cigarettes – 37,000 of which he had stowed in his cellar – and he had 30 kilograms of illegal explosives, an air gun, and a pistol – both without a licence.
The seized drugs at the offices of the local police. Photo: DPA
Schmoke and a pancake?
In the village the Dutchman was well liked.
“He was always friendly and helpful,” the chef at the local inn told the Märkische Allgemeine.
“Whenever there was something up in the village he’d be there helping out on something technical,” another local fondly recalled.
Since the father-of-four moved to the area in 2003 he had continually built up his new business.
Large solar panels and on the barn roofs and a biogas plant were some of the modernisations he brought to his property. He also increased his stock of cattle from 160 to more than 400 – and was employing 12 people.
The farmer hands were also surprised by the police raid, the Märkishe Zeitung reports.
“I can’t believe it. He’s such a hard-working boss,” one told the newspaper.
The Dutchman is now sitting in custody, but has told police it is all a misunderstanding – claiming he rented out the cellar to someone else, Bild reports.