17:36 PM, 31st January 2011, About 13 years ago
A red-faced top cop at Scotland Yard rented out his former home to a gang of drug dealers who set up a cannabis factory.
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Rod Jarman let out his £400,000 luxury four bed home at Abridge, Essex, through an online letting agent.
Neighbours tipped him off after hearing strange noises from the house and spotting people coming and going at odd hours.
Mr Jarman visited the house and found cannabis plants and specialist growing equipment
The gang ran up a £20,000 electricity bill to heat the house for growing their cannabis crop and caused damage estimated at £48,000.
Staffordshire Police claim they have forced a ‘significant reduction’ in the number of cannabis factories across the county after drugs gang ringleader Syed Abbas Ghalani was arrested and charged.
Ghalani, 31, of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, admitted producing cannabis or conspiracy to produce cannabis at four rented drugs factories in the city when he appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
He was remanded in custody for sentence.
The charges involved growing about 1,500 cannabis plants.
Detective Inspector Mark Abbotts, of Staffordshire Police’s Serious And Organised Crime Unit, said: “This guilty plea results from a targeted and thorough investigation which resulted in the seizure of thousands of cannabis plants destined for the streets.
“Since Ghalani has been in custody, there has been a significant reduction in the number of cannabis factories.
“It also underlines Staffordshire Police’s commitment to bringing to justice those concerned in the production and supply of illegal drugs.”
Staffordshire Police have also uncovered a small cannabis farm at a house in Lichfield after neighbours complained about smells coming from the house.
Dorset detectives are quizzing a landlord about tenants who turned his property at Boscombe, Bournemouth, in to a cannabis factory.
Police found hundreds of plants and growing equipment in a number of flats in the property following a fire caused by an electrical fault.
The property was empty at the time of the fire. Forensic investigators found windows covered in foil, ventilation system and tampering with the electricity supply.
Detectives say the inquiry is ‘ongoing’.
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