Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested as police find £700k cannabis factory in Ballycastle

By Linda Stewart

A cannabis factory with plants worth an estimated £700,000 has been uncovered by police.

The plants were discovered in accommodation above a business premises in Castle Street in Ballycastle at around 1.30pm yesterday.

One man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of possession of class B drugs with intent to supply and the cultivation of cannabis.

Inspector Bryan Hume, from the local neighbourhood policing team, said: "Drugs misuse is an issue of concern to local communities and officers have been working hard to tackle the issue of drug supply and distribution.

"This looks to be a significant find and we are glad to have taken these plants out of circulation.

"I would encourage the Ballycastle community to continue to work with us to put drug dealers on the back foot."

Meanwhile, rare plants are to be grown in equipment that once formed part of a cannabis factory in Co Down.

The PSNI usually destroys equipment used to make drugs, but following a raid on premises in Newtownards, officers yesterday donated the valuable heat lamps and hydroponic systems they seized to gardeners at the National Trust's Mount Stewart property.

The hydroponic system will be used to propagate exotic plants at one of the biggest National Trust plant collections in the UK.

The donation was proposed by Constable Russ Wilson from Comber neighbourhood policing team in a bid to put the equipment to better use.

"Drugs can have a devastating impact on local communities but I think the fact we can do something positive on the back of it is great," he said.

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