A “major” cannabis factory was discovered today at a Cardiff industrial estate after an early morning drugs raid.
The find came as part of a series of synchronised dawn raids at 10 properties across South Wales and the west of England, which brought to an end an operation in which 7,500 cannabis plants worth an estimated £3.5m have been seized by police.
Over two-and-a-half years, Operation Pristina has seen 26 properties raided and more than £400,000 seized in cash.
Around 130 police officers today raided properties in Cardiff, Newport, Bath and Bristol – arresting seven men and a woman.
In the process drugs officers said they discovered and dismantled a “major” cannabis factory in Eastgate Business Park, off Wentloog Avenue in Rumney, Cardiff.
Detective Inspector Paul Latham, who led the operation, said: “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.”
Assets like cars and property found during the operation were seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act and will now be subject to financial investigations, he said.
Officers from South Wales, Gwent and Avon and Somerset police forces were joined in the raids by the UK Border Agency and fire and ambulance services.
And after the properties were searched, PCSOs delivered leaflets to neighbouring homes to explain what happened.
“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,” said DI Latham.
“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 on both sides of the River Severn to tackle drugs.”