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Published on : Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Glynmill Gypsy and Traveller Site at Merthyr Tydfil in Wales turns the travel camps into giant cannabis plantation site, after getting a government grant of £3m. The huge grant was given to the Glynmill Gypsy and Traveller Site in order to improve their facilities by adding toilet blocks, community halls and landscaping.
Among 24 caravans of the newly renovated gypsy camp, half were being used as a cover and the other half was being used as drug operation centres.
A raid was conducted by over 100 police officers, riding on 30 vehicles after a court order. National Crime Agency mounted Operation Red Lava along with the riot police. 453 plants including a mother plant were recovered from the site. The site was a home of 120 people.
Prosecutor Ieuan Morris informed, “This was an organised group involved in the production of cannabis worth between £90,000 and £340,000. In the raid on the three-acre site in February last year they discovered cannabis plants being grown with sophisticated hydroponic systems.”
He also added, “Cannabis plants of various stages of growth were recovered as was the paraphernalia associated with large scale production. This was a joint enterprise, each playing a part and each knowing the nature of the operation.”
Ten men are convicted of operating the hidden plantation of cannabis. Among the ten, eight confessed their crime.
Owner Craig William Bennett was due to act as a key witness to the trial, but he refused to take stand in the court. He has been prosecuted for contempt of court and fined £500, after he failed to appear at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. If he fails or refuses to pay his fine, he will be facing jail terms for 14 days.
“I had no idea what was going on. I had never smelled cannabis. I had an accident seven years ago and can’t smell anything. I would not know what it smelled like anyway,” Bennett commented.