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Europol Raids JuicyFields Cannabis Platform Seizing 2.6 Billion Euros in Assets

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Europol Raids JuicyFields
A fancy car featured the JuicyFields logo at the March 2022 Barcelona International Cannabis Business Conference Photo: EL Pais

A Europol police operation has brought down JuicyFields, a cannabis growing platform that duped victims in 35 nations of 645 million euros (US$685 million) in a scheme centered on cultivating medicinal cannabis.

Europol said on Friday that nine people were arrested and millions of euros in bank accounts and cryptocurrency had been seized.

On Thursday, about 400 law enforcement agents raided JuicyFields locations throughout Europe and the Dominican Republic in an operation against the operators of the JuicyFields Ponzi scheme, which Europol claims defrauded over 180,000 investors globally.

The gang developed a marketing strategy and went cannabis fairs to persuade people in Spain, France, and Germany to invest in the system.

“According to judicial estimates, the total damages resulting from fake investments in the advertised cannabis cultivation crowdsourcing platform amount to a staggering 645 million euros,” the law enforcement agency located in the Netherlands said.

“Actual damages could be significantly higher,” Europol stated.


JuicyFields enticed its “e-growers” or investors with the prospect of yearly returns of over 100% – Photo Shutterstock

According to the agency, JuicyFields persuaded customers to invest as low as 50 euros to purchase a cannabis plant online in order to capitalize on “e-growing opportunities” between 2020 and 2022.

The website offered to connect investors with medicinal cannabis producers, promising “annual returns of 100% or more,” according to Europol. Initial investors of 50 euros received a double return on their money.

“Motivated by these financial gains, many investors would raise the stakes and pay in hundreds, thousands, or in many cases even tens of thousands of euros,” Europol said in a statement.

“The platform feigned credibility as it was not only represented in the digital world, but upheld the image of a trustworthy legal business structure with physical offices, staff and representation at cannabis industry events.”


JuicyFields offered to connect investors with medicinal cannabis producers, promising “annual returns of 100% or more. Photo ©CTNNews

Although 186,000 consumers contributed money to JuicyFields, around 500,000 “e-growers” received investment returns. However, in July 2022, the scheme’s promoters abruptly withdrew firm profiles from social media networks and prevented consumers from logging in to their accounts, thereby blocking cash withdrawals.

Widespread reports to authorities prompted Europol to coordinate a complex investigation involving multiple European countries and agencies.

The Spanish police force led the operation, which included Europol and units from Germany, France, the Dominican Republic, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The unnamed suspects were apprehended on suspicion of fraud in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Italy, and the Dominican Republic.

According to Spanish authorities, an advertising campaign promoting the scheme included luxury limousines, hotel parties, and music videos, and victims were escorted to legitimate cannabis plants implicated in the hoax.

Police claimed they had frozen bank accounts carrying 58,600 and 116,300 euros in cryptocurrency, as well as recovered 106,000 euros in cash. Properties totaling 2.6 billion euros were also seized.

Source: Europol

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