Cannabis found underground near Taunton
By marion_TLocal | Saturday, March 17, 2012, 17:26
Police encountered the new Somerset pastime of cannabis mining near Taunton this week after discovering empty caravans concealing underground cannabis factories at West Bagborough,
caravan hiding underground cannabis factory near Taunton
trap door inside caravan to shipping container cannabis factory
Cannabis factory underground
Avon and Somerset Police has seized more than 100 cannabis plants found hidden in underground bunkers made fromshipping containers concealed by the caravans.
The cannabis factories were found on Thursday 15th March as part of Operation Viscount, a dedicated operation to tackle cannabis cultivation across the force area.
Police executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act after the caravans were found within a wooden fenced compound in a field and trap doors with ladders lead down to the growing rooms .
151 mature plants were found with an estimated street value of more than £150,000 along with three unlicensed shotguns from the site.
Three men – aged 48, 50 and 39 - have been arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis, abstracting electricity and money laundering. They have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Officers from Avon and Somerset Police were joined by officers from Stockholm Police who have spent a week in the force area with various teams learning about tackling cannabis production.
PC Andy Coole said: "This was a very sophisticated set up and a highly organised production site. I would like to reassure local people that we will be bringing the offenders responsible for this site to justice and will continue our work in tackling drugs and associated crime throughout Somerset."
Force Drugs Strategy Manager Paul Bunt said: "The Swedish officers have been with us this week as they had heard about Operation Viscount and the success we have been having.
"This is another large seizure and demonstrates our commitment to tackling cannabis – not just in our towns and cities – but also in more isolated communities. Anyone with any information on drugs supply in their area is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
You can view a video of the cannabis factories here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsP0W4GYpQg