A cannabis factory was found in a house in Dagenham, East London, yesterday as part of a crackdown on the home-grown drugs trade.
NI_MPU('middle');Police also raided several other properties in London and arrested two men, aged 40 and 39, and a woman aged 27. One of them, police said, was a suspected financier for drugs gangs.
Police said that “skunk” cannabis — a more potent form of the drug — grown in suburban homes and on rural sites accounted for 60 per cent of the British market and was worth hundreds of millions of pounds. One factory found by police in London was generating £8 million a year from 20,000 plants.
Even small farms with only a few hundred plants can earn £20,000 a year as gangs force up to four crops a year. Many are run by Vietnamese gangs using illegal immigrants as workers.
Seventeen police forces will carry out raids on suspected houses over the next two weeks. Commander Allan Gibson, who is leading the operation, said: “Cannabis cultivation is seen by criminals as a low-risk, high-profit industry.”
Last year 800 factories were raided in London and 90 in Greater Manchester.