£1 million cannabis factory found at former nightclub

Around 1,000 cannabis plants worth more than £1 million have been seized from a former nightclub in the West Midlands.

Cannabis plants have been seized from a former Coventry nightclub. Photo: National Crime Agency
Cannabis plants have been seized from a former Coventry nightclub. Photo: National Crime Agency

Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) raided the former Big Bamboo nightclub in Coventry on Thursday.

They smashed through several reinforced doors before finding the stash spread across the building's three floors at the Trinity Street site.

Sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment – valued at around £150,000 – were seized, with three men arrested in connection with the raid.

The three men have been charged with the production for a class B dru. They are Albanian national Andi Qani, 24, Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu, 31, and Albanian national Adrian Lieshaj, 28.

Qani and Van Vu appeared before Coventry magistrates on Friday where they were remanded in custody until their next court appearance at Warwick Crown Court on November 12.

Significant

Lieshaj was found to be wanted by German authorities for robbery offences and is the subject of an European Arrest Warrant. He has been taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court for the extradition matter to be heard.

NCA branch Commander Adam Warnock said: "This is a significant drug seizure which will have a huge impact on the organised crime groups involved, depriving them of commodity and profit.

"The size of the cannabis factory was significant and sophisticated, spread across three floors of a large building. It is certainly one of the largest grows ever uncovered by the NCA.

"Operations like this underline the value and power of working with law enforcement partners like West Midlands Police to take down high-harm criminals.

"Our investigation into this seizure continues."

The operation was supported by officers from the West Midlands Police Cannabis Disruption Team.

Chief Superintendent Lee Wharmby, head of the force's operations department, said: "It’s always great when we can help out a partner agency. Our job is to protect the public and drones are invaluable to us."

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