A truly massive cannabis farm has been found in a warehouse in an otherwise forgettable industrial estate close to Scunthorpe. It used four delivery vans, formerly the property of Tesco, to distribute the drugs that came from more than 15,000 plants. This catered to cannabis dealers throughout the county. As so often, the electricity was purloined, from an underground cable in this instance.

Delivery vans formerly owned by Tesco were used. Photo: Graham Richardson

Delivery vans formerly owned by Tesco were used. Photo: Graham Richardson

Although street dealers would often speak of it, the operation remained undiscovered by authorities for months. Now, Humberside Police only admit that they heard about it from “intelligence”. A raid took place on Monday July 29 2019. Even experienced police officers expressed their shock when they pulled up on Park Farm Road.

Vietnamese slaves took care of it

Watering pipes and industrial-sized lamps served fields of cannabis plants. Five Vietnamese men took care of things, far from the first time illegal immigrants have been employed in this fashion. Witnesses described their living conditions as “pitiful”, with no natural light, little space and only basic food, never mind the strong cannabis odour. Three men were arrested and charged, but police do have sympathy for them. Two escaped.

A big deal

The warehouse on Foxhills Industrial Estate was the property of a legitimate US company. Buildings in the vicinity cost tens of thousands of pounds a year to lease. Estimates put the value of the drugs at almost £4 million. Detective Inspector John Cram, leader of the investigation, commented, “Without question, someone will be massively out of pocket.”

What dealers think

The scene in the vicinity has been impacted, at least temporarily. One dealer told a local newspaper: “If any dealer tells you that this won’t have an effect, they either have no idea what they’re talking about, or they’re lying.”

The dealer added that suppliers dislike telling his ilk about the origins of their product, and “You just don’t need to ask questions.” Given time, however, relationships will form. In this case, the dealer heard of the cannabis farm while playing a Fifa computer game with his supplier six months ago. The supplier claimed to have visited the place and that it was very, very large. The dealer refused to believe a cannabis farm of such a size could exist. So he was extremely surprised when he saw photos, spurring him to tell a friend: “They had found the mother lode.”

Another dealer, this time – unusually – female, wondered how the venture went undetected for so long because of the smell that must have been “horrendous”. She had attended considerably smaller grows in the past, “and the smell at those are hard to mask.”

A third dealer was also shocked by the size of the farm, although many people knew there was just one source for most of the cannabis in the area. He had seen hundreds of cannabis farms in his time, but never one so big. He doubted that cannabis was the limit of activities. He remarked that while a shortage of cannabis in Scunthorpe would follow “for a bit”, anyone who thought this would endure was “hilariously ignorant” because the drug is so easy to obtain. “That’s just the way it is.”

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