Published On: Sat, Feb 10th, 2024
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Cops raid cannabis farm in The Archers village – days before mystery blaze | UK | News

Riot cops raided a huge cannabis farm in a village which inspired BBC Radio 4 series The Archers – two days before it mysteriously burned down.

Two men aged 22 and 24 were arrested following the dramatic bust at a warehouse in Hanbury, Worcs.

Footage shows officers using chainsaws and battering rams to force their way into the metal shed on The Saltway early on Wednesday morning. Dozens of officers crossed countryside to reach the illegal cannabis farm and caught two men who were asleep in a makeshift dormitory.

West Mercia Police seized nearly 500 cannabis plants with a street value of £410,000. Large-scale electrical, lighting and cultivation systems linked to the production of cannabis were also found.

There was also further evidence at the scene of a grow that had already been cropped. The raid came after intelligence was developed around the location following concerns about drugs and suspicious activity in the area.

The factory was in the idyllic village of Hanbury which is more well known as the
setting of long-running radio series The Archers.

Many of the historic buildings and the parish church were the inspiration behind the fictional village of Ambridge.

In a twist, the warehouse which police raided was destroyed in a fire on Friday morning. Fire investigators are still determining the cause of the blaze.

Police Sergeant Shaun Blackshaw said: “Cannabis farms like to this are often linked to serious and organised crime gangs, the drugs they sell have a negative impact on our communities and can lead to other localised criminality.

“The cultivation of these crops can also lead to the harm and exploitation of vulnerable people.”

Ervin Aliaj, 24, and Ndoj Ardit, 22, of no fixed addresses, were charged production of a class B drug – cannabis and abstracting electricity.

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