Video: Police bust drugs factory
VIDEO Drugs cops have uncovered another cannabis factory in Ipswich, it can be revealed today.
DRUGS cops have uncovered another cannabis factory in Ipswich, it can be revealed today.
More than 300 plants - with a potential street value of hundreds of thousands of pounds - were seized when undercover officers swooped on a semi-detached house in Priory Heath's Hilton Road.
The bust follows last month's raid on a cannabis factory in nearby Beatty Road, which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Vietnamese national Vui Van Nguyen.
Today, detective sergeant Dave Green, who led the covert investigation, said the illegal operation was snared in its early stages.
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“This has been here for a few weeks, although the set up is in its infancy,” he said. “Some rooms are primed to go and some have plants in them already.
“Like Beatty Road, this is smack bang in the middle of a housing estate. They have by-passed the electrics which is dangerous.
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“There are a similar amount of plants here to the numbers at Beatty Road and they were worth £500,000, although you wouldn't harvest these at the moment so the value is difficult to assess. However, harvesting a fully grown crop would be massive.
“These operations are very organised. The set up is very professional.”
The house, which is close to Holywells High School, was unoccupied at the time of yesterday's raid and no arrests have yet been made.
High-powered lighting and a complex ventilation system had been installed to help the crop to grow quickly, while windows had been covered.
Police were tipped off thanks to community intelligence, which is believed to have been prompted by the discovery of the Beatty Road factory.
It is understood there are connections between the two operations, although detectives today said it was too early to confirm a link.
The property's shocked owner, who asked not to be named, said the tenants had been in the house for around six weeks.
Ds Green praised the support from members of the public.
He said: “After the Beatty Road raid, we have had lots of people calling in about suspect buildings.
“There is a big difference between this organised criminality and someone growing a few plants at home.
“If we can go in at the right time prior to any harvesting, they can suffer significant losses.”
Beatty Road cannabis factory:
VUI Van Nguyen, 28, admitted growing an estimated £500,000 worth of the drug in Beatty Road, Ipswich.
He is to be held in custody until a crown court hearing is arranged to sentence him.
When police raided the semi-detached house, 304 mature plants were discovered which were just weeks away from being ready for harvest.
Developed plants were growing in five rooms of the house. All the windows were covered and the rooms which contained the plants were fully ventilated and brightly illuminated with high-powered lighting.
An increasing number of cannabis factories have been uncovered in Suffolk - 19 were found in 2007, compared to 14 in 2006 and 13 in 2005.
Last year a gang who ran a string of cannabis factories in Ipswich were jailed for a total of 14 years after their illegal business was uncovered.
Vietnamese nationals Anh Hai Bui, his sister Ha Phu Bui, Phuong Thi Vu, Tham Thi Hoang and Tranh Tran were involved in growing as much as £1.5million of cannabis at houses in Clarkson Street, London Road and Norwich Road.
Although Ha Phu Bui was not convicted of growing the cannabis she was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of making money from the crime and jailed for four years.