Massive grow-op with 1,000 cannabis plants raided

Twitter icon
marijuana growing equipment piled up on the ground

U.K. operation estimated to have a street value of $1.7 million.

Dismantling a sophisticated cannabis grow-op boasting 1,000 plants having an estimated street value of £1 million (about $1.7 million) made for quite a mess — and a big show — for neighbours in Clacton, U.K. last week.

Essex Police busted the illegal growing operation in a disused three-storey building after receiving reports of suspicious activity, according to a Facebook post from police. Work to dismantle the equipment and remove the approximately 1,000 plants started shortly after the raid and reportedly took much of the weekend to complete.

“Cannabis factories are linked to criminals who exploit vulnerable people for their own financial gain. These might be people who are exploited or forced to work for them to manage these cultivations, or to sell the drugs,” the statement notes.

“Organized crime groups involved in drug trafficking are typically also involved in a range of criminal activity, and the profits from illegal drugs are used to fund other forms of criminal operations, including buying illegal firearms and financing terrorism,” according to the National Crime Agency.

Late this summer, a study was published that determined migrant workers who were arrested for working on cannabis grow-ops are often victims of trafficking and ‘debt bondage’.

In 2017-2018, police in the U.K. seized cannabis more than 94,000 times, which was almost half what they seized in 2008-2009 when there were almost 183 thousand cannabis seizures made, note figures from a new report.

Even so, reports of using abandoned or vacant spaces to grow illegal cannabis seem to be on the rise the U.K. and, often, these grows are quite large.

Work to dismantle the equipment and remove the approximately 1,000 plants took much of the weekend to complete. / PHOTO BY ESSEX POLICE, TENDRING DISTRICT, FACEBOOK

Just last week in Scotland, two drug dealers were busted for a cannabis grow-op thought to be worth £600,000 to £1 million ($1 million to $1.7 million) inside a disused bingo hall.

Last month in Leicester, another hefty grow, with more than 1,500 marijuana plants, was discovered at the former Sumo Bar.

And earlier this year, a former club was given new (illicit) life when it was transformed into a cannabis cultivation site with 1,600-plus plants, DHA reports. The operation was said to be worth about $3.1 million.

“Cannabis factories are linked to criminals who exploit vulnerable people for their own financial gain.” / PHOTO BY ESSEX POLICE, TENDRING DISTRICT, FACEBOOK

Facebook reactions to the raid included everything from thanks to wondering why more time was not taken to stake out the property and catch the dealers involved.

Two of the more thoughtful posts, though, related to these COVID-19 times and enforcement thinking down the road.

“So we wear a tiny little mask to protect us against the most Dangerous virus ever yet they’re wearing all that protective clothing and mask to shred some weed plants,” asked one poster. Added another, “You think your (sic) doing good but you are actually the cause of all the problems you have listed. The direct cause. You create and maintain this environment where criminal activity can flourish.”

 

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Article category: 
Regional Marijuana News: