Monday 11 December 2017

Nuclear bunker hid cannabis farm

A nuclear bunker in Drakelow near Kidderminster.
A nuclear bunker in Drakelow near Kidderminster.

A subterranean cannabis farm has been found hidden inside a network of tunnels used as a nuclear bunker during the Cold War.

Around £650,000 worth of cannabis was found growing in the historic Drakelow Tunnels near Kidderminster, Worcestershire, in a pre-planned police operation.

West Mercia Police said officers had seized more than 400 cannabis plants at around 9am this morning after executing a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Hydroponic equipment, including heating, lighting and ventilation fans was also discovered in the underground complex, which dates back to the Second World War.

Meanwhile, police involved in an associated raid on an address in Kidderminster arrested a 45-year-old man on suspicion of money laundering and being concerned in the production and supply of controlled drugs.

The Drakelow site was used to manufacture machine parts during the Second World War and in the late 1950s it was earmarked by the Home Office as a regional seat of government in the event of a nuclear attack.

The 285,000sq ft network of tunnels stretches for about three miles and during the 1950s was also used by the Ministry of Supply for storage.

North Worcestershire Superintendent Kevin Purcell said officers had been briefed in advance on the historic nature of the site, and that had been reflected in the way the operation had been carried out.

Mr Purcell said: "The operation has been mounted to tackle the illegal production and supply of controlled drugs which is linked to acquisitive crime such as theft, burglary and shoplifting.

"While executing the warrant at Drakelow Tunnels we discovered a large and sophisticated cannabis growing operation and although the plants will need to be tested it would appear that this seizure has prevented a large quantity of illegal drugs ending up on the streets.

"While we have made an arrest in connection with this I would stress that this is a dynamic, ongoing investigation and we would very much like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity near the tunnels."

Press Association

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