Additional Reporting: Debbie Pugh-Jones
Four illegal Albanian immigrants arrested on drug offences after police raided a disused warehouse converted into a £2 million cannabis factory have been named.
They appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court on October 6, charged with the production of cannabis.
The four men, all of no fixed abode in Bodmin, are 24-year-old Benis Asllanaj, 36-year-old Fatos Daci, 39-year-old Luan Maci and 29-year-old Luan Prozllomi.
The court heard how three of the defendants were found in the living area of the unit, which contained six beds. A fourth person was caught nearby after trying to escape and police are launching a manhunt to find the other two individuals.
The four, who spoke no English and were aided by a translator, were held in custody after prosecutors argued they were a flight risk having no ties to the UK and would face a substantial prison sentence if convicted in addition to fears for their safety from county lines drug gangs as they now have a substantial drug debt due to the loss of cannabis.
The four will have their case heard on November 7 at Truro Crown Court.
It comes after on October 4, a tip off from a member of the public led to police locating around 4000 suspected cannabis plants, with an estimated yield of two million pounds, in a disused building in Bodmin, less than a year since a flat above a disused bank in Fore Street was converted for a similar purpose.
Officers from the Proactive Disruption Team and the local Neighbourhood Team carried out a Section 8 Warrant under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act at the premises shortly before midday.
A scene guard has been put in place whilst officers remain at the premises carrying out enquiries and the plants are tested by Drugs Liaison Officers.
Sector Inspector Adam Stonehill said: “This was an organised and sophisticated set up in a building of around 1500 square feet in size and had an infrastructure in place to produce a substantial amount of cannabis.
“My thanks to the Proactive Team and to the Neighbourhood Team for the work they have done in executing this warrant. But also, to the public for reporting this crucial information to us which has ultimately led to this result today.
“Drug related crime has a detrimental effect on those most vulnerable in our communities and there is no place for that here – as I set out in my priorities. This is a great example of how information reported to us by the public can help to remove both drugs, and the associated crime, from our community.
“What you may think of as an insignificant bit of information may be the piece of the puzzle which means we can take action and so I would urge anyone who has any information about suspected illegal activity to report it to us.”
If you have information about illegal activity in your area, you can report it to us by calling 101 or reporting via our website - Contact us | Devon & Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk)
Information can also be reported anonymously to CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555111 or via their website - www.crimestoppers-uk.org