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Plants seized in cannabis raid

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 July 2010

DRUGS FACTORY: The former Platform Scaffolding Services building on Gordon Road, Southtown

DRUGS FACTORY: The former Platform Scaffolding Services building on Gordon Road, Southtown

Laura Bagshaw

MORE than 700 cannabis plants were seized after they were discovered in a business premises in Great Yarmouth.

Intelligence from the community led police to the former Platform Scaffolding Services building on Gordon Road, Southtown, late on Monday night.

MORE than 700 cannabis plants were seized after they were discovered in a business premises in Great Yarmouth.

Intelligence from the community led police to the former Platform Scaffolding Services building on Gordon Road, Southtown, late on Monday night.

The skunk plants filled a back room of the premises which had been transformed into a professional drugs factory, with foil lining the walls and dozens of high voltage lights and fans dangling from the ceiling, creating ideal conditions for the plants to grow.

Police said the recently cropped skunk plants have the potential to yield four crops a year, making those behind the hi-

tech operation thousands of pounds.

Filters were scattered around the room in an attempt to conceal the overpowering smell from the mature plants.

Insp Martyn Hooton said it was not unusual for drug dens to be found in business premises and could not rule out whether the find would lead police to other cannabis factories.

“It's impossible to say at the moment if this is a one-off. People behind these operations use various premises from farm outbuildings to rented houses. It has all the hallmarks of a very professional operation and must have taken considerable time and effort to set up.”

The premises, formerly Motorfax, had been vacant for a few months after the firm went out of business.

Insp Hooton said the find was the result of “good intelligence from the public”.

Samples of the plants have been taken away for analysis to determine their value.

A 35-year-old man driving a vehicle close to the scene was stopped by officers on Monday night and arrested in connection with the find, thought to be one of the largest ever in the Southtown area.

The man was taken to North Walsham police station where he was interviewed by officers. He was released on police bail until next year pending further inquiries.

The large find is one of many made by police in Yarmouth this year. In March, two major raids on houses in St George's Road and Anson Road uncovered 2,000 cannabis plants with a street value of more than £95,000.

Dang Nguyen, 48, of Walpole Road, London and Hung Dang, 46, of no fixed address, were jailed after appearing at Norwich Crown Court in July for managing the two cannabis growing factories. They were sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment each.

In June, police uncovered another drugs factory on Anson Road, where more than 150 plants were seized.

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