ERJ staff report (TP)
London − A drug farmer who rigged his cannabis factory with shotgun booby traps and disguised it as a tire workshop in a London suburb has been imprisoned, reported Mike Pyle for This is Local London.
In what police called a "sophisticated set up", 48-year-old Mohamed Nahid Din operated a cannabis factory made up of more than 500 plants in a unit on the Wandle Valley Trading Estate in Hackbridge, south-west London.
But he disguised it using the façade of a respectable-looking tire company complete with a reception area and a front desk.
When police raided the factory in September last year they found the wall behind the reception to be fake and removed it revealing a cannabis factory about half the size of a tennis court housing the plants, which were neatly organised according to their size.
The cultivation area was guarded by two booby traps made up of shotguns loaded with blanks designed to fire when a tripwire was activated.
These were not active when police raided the factory and they found Din hiding behind another false wall in an area kitted out with a bed, a TV, a kettle and some basic food.
Officers had to use a police dog to investigate the factory as there was no natural light. Crime squad officer PC Dan Pullan said: "This was a very sophisticated set up. A lot of time, money and effort had been put in to disguise this factory from the police and its neighbours."
Police investigated the factory after they became suspicious that some of the walls of the building were false. A meticulous examination of the building plans confirmed their suspicions prior to the raid.
Din, from Ashford, Kent, was sentenced to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay a £100 (€121) victim surcharge after pleading guilty to producing a class B drug at Croydon Crown Court on 20 December.
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