Flats that were turned into a £2 million-a-year cannabis cultivation were ripped up.
A specialized police force busted cannabis fields with the potential to profit the perpetrators £120 million in just a year.
Merseyside Police’s Cannabis Dismantling Team pulled up 219 premises in 2020, resulting in the seizure of little over 30,000 plants.
The dedicated squad rescued 5,000 more plants this year than the prior year, when 182 farms were dismantled.
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The Washington Newsday obtained data that demonstrated the enormous volume of cannabis growing and the illicit industry’s value to the region’s criminals.
A 500-plant facility sprawled across two flats on Aigburth Road with the potential to be worth up to £2 million a year was among the more than 200 farms demolished by the CDT last year, as was a little smaller site on Bentley Road in Toxteth with an annual value of £1.8 million.
475 lighting unit transformers lit a 300-plant farm stretched across seven rooms in Tuebrook’s Osborne Road.
Police discovered a large farm in an abandoned milk factory in St Helens, which was one of the greatest hauls.
The Duncan Street location housed almost 1,500 plants, implying a potential yearly production of nearly £7 million with crops that could be picked four times a year.
Cannabis is classified as a Class B narcotic, which means that the offenses and penalties associated with it are less severe than those associated with Class A substances like heroin and cocaine.
However, while the farms are profitable, they are often hotbeds of exploitation, and the money raised is sometimes used to fund other areas of gangland, such as weapon purchases and more expensive Class A operations.
In a case that ended earlier this month in Liverpool Crown Court, the industry’s violence was exposed in graphic detail.
Two cannabis farm workers were tortured by three guys who were chained, beaten, and warned their loved ones would be shot.
The defendants were accused of assisting in the theft of crops from a farm in rural St Helens.
They were thrashed with a variety of weapons, including a sledgehammer, after being taped up. “The summary has come to an end.”