The owner of a property outside Dungiven has described his shock at discovering a cannabis factory containing plants police say have a street value of £250,000.
The property where the drugs where found in is a farmhouse in the small rural community of Ballyhargan, roughly six miles from Dungiven, on Larch Road.
Police have been on scene at the property, which was being rented out, since Saturday.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ on scene on Sunday, as teams of police officers (pictured above) removed the plants, - some four feet high - the man said: “I’m shocked, I can’t believe it.”
The man said on Friday night he thought there was something suspicious going on as the windows were open and he heard fans operating.
On Saturday the man, along with a neighbour, returned and entered the property through a window.
“The bedroom was full of plants. The stench would have knocked you back,” he said, adding a second bedroom was also filled with plants.
The man said he is “disgusted” at what has taken place, and believes the property will have suffered significant damage and may have to be demolished.
Detective Chief Inspector, Colin Gillis, from Crime Operations Dept said: “ Officers acting upon information received, attended the house in Dungiven shortly after midday on Saturday afternoon, to discover a sizeable number of cannabis plants being cultivated at the property. At this stage I would estimate the street value of the cannabis plants recovered at around £250,000. No arrests have been made at this stage, however, officers remain at the scene carrying out a detailed forensic analysis of the premises.
“I would like the people involved in the use and supply of illegal drugs to know that Northern Ireland is not a safe environment for them to spread their misery and destroy people’s lives. When members of the public work along with police we see time and again that successes can be made against the drugs gangs and I would actively encourage anyone with any information about the use or supply of illegal drugs to contact police on 101 to enable us to continue taking these substances off our streets. Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”