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£1.4m drugs haul at Tesco-owned warehouse in Whitstable


A £1.4 million cannabis farm has been uncovered in a warehouse owned by Tesco.

The huge stash was discovered in an industrial unit leased out by the supermarket giants.

Officers executed a warrant at the three-storey building on an industrial estate in Whitstable, Kent, after gathering intelligence about the large-scale operation.

Inside they found more than 2,200 cannabis plants - expected to yield £1.4million a year - and specialist equipment used to cultivate the class B drug.

Tesco confirmed they owned the unit, believed to be leased to a printing firm, but were oblivious to the activity inside.

Spokesman James Wiggam added: "We can confirm that a raid was carried out on these leased premises.

"We are continuing to cooperate with the local police."

The drama began at 8am on Thursday, May 27, after police descended on the isolated unit, just yards from Whitstable's Tesco store and children's play centre Snappys.

Shocked bystanders watched as officers smashed windows to gain entry to the building and rushed inside.

Thousands of cannabis plants were then seen being hauled from the unit and taken away for analysis.

Police said officers worked through the day dismantling the factory.

Leading the operation, Det Sgt Andy Nicoll said the raid was part of a larger ongoing countywide operation by Kent Police's Serious and Organised Crime Unit.

He added: "It followed some painstakingly-thorough investigative work by the team, which took us to this location."

Two Vietnamese boys, aged 13 and 17, were arrested at the factory and charged with the production of cannabis.

They have been remanded to secure accommodation.

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