House in Bath raided as part of police operation to bust multi-million pound cannabis ring
Police raided a house in Bath yesterday as part of three force wide operation to bust a multi-million pound drugs scheme.
Officers from Avon and Somerset, South Wales and Gwent police, as well as staff from the UK Border Agency, fire and ambulance services, took part in the day of action.
They simultaneously carried out raids on both side of the Severn Bridge, arresting eight people at ten addresses across South Wales and the South West.
Two men, aged 41 and 42, were arrested at a flat in Sydney Buildings, in Bathwick, and are now being held at Cardiff Bay Police Station.
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The raids successfully brought about the end of a two-and-a-half year operation, which resulted in the seizure of 7,500 cannabis plants worth around £3.5 million and more than £400,000 in cash.
Detective Inspector Paul Latham, from South Wales Police, who led the operation, said: “Operation Pristina was put in place to target individuals believed to be involved in the cultivation and supply of cannabis across South Wales and the west of England.
“During the course of this operation we have successfully disrupted many of those who have been suspected of dealing in drugs.
“This demonstrates the close partnership working with our colleagues and partners on both sides of the River Severn to tackle drugs.”
Operation Pristina was launched in October 2010 and has led to 26 properties being searched, including the ten yesterday in Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Newport.
Around 130 police officers were involved in the dawn raids, which included the dismantling of a large cannabis factory on the Eastgate Business Park in Cardiff.
After the properties were searched, PCSOs delivered leaflets to neighbouring homes advising local householders of the police activity.
DI Latham added: “Eight people have been taken into custody, a major cannabis factory has been taken out of use and several thousand pounds in cash have been seized.
“Drugs are a source of misery and blight communities and the message is simple - they will not be tolerated.
“Through tough enforcement and positive community engagement, we will strive to keep our communities safe and take a proactive approach against those who are suspected of drugs offences.
“Drug dealers should know that there is no hiding place, we will seek you out and bring you to justice.”