Following drugs bust at councillor’s factory units, police launch second raid bringing weekend drugs tally to �750,000

MORE than 2,000 cannabis plants with a street value of around �750,000 have been seized in two drug busts over the weekend - including a major drugs find at factory units owned by a Fenland district councillor.

MORE than 2,000 cannabis plants with a street value of around �750,000 have been seized in two drug busts over the weekend - including a major drugs find at factory units owned by a Fenland district councillor.

Police were called in the early hours of Saturday to Woodville Drive, Westry, March, after an off-duty officer reported a burglary at the premises.

Investigation of the two units, owned by Councillor Jan French and her husband Mick, revealed 1,300 cannabis plants being grown using specialist equipment in two converted warehouses.

Two vehicles that were at the scene had left before police arrived but officers, dog handlers and the force helicopter pursued them into a nearby field, leading to the arrest of two men.


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Another vehicle was stopped on the A141 at Warboys and a further two men, both from London, were arrested.

The investigation led to another police raid in Commercial Road, March, last night, where 960 plants were seized.

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Cllr Jan French was woken by police to inform her of the find inside factory units they own near to their home.

The units had been leased to a London businessman for use as a distribution centre for herbs and spices in connection with the restaurant trade.

Cllr French said the units, which until this summer had been occupied by a recycling company, had been taken over by the businessman and she had no inclination of their real purpose.

“They signed a proper lease, we took up references and there seemed no reason whatsoever to doubt the legitimacy of their business,” she said.

Police found that locks installed by the Frenchs’ on doors connecting the two units had been changed and when they forced their way through to the second unit they made the shocking discovery.

Cllr French added: “The people who took the lease in July were supposed to have a chain of restaurants in London and I had no reason to doubt them. They had even invited Mick and me to pay them a visit in London and have dinner with them at one of their restaurants.”

Police remain at the scene of the second raid and will be carrying out further investigations today.

Two men, Minh Van Nguyen, 31, and Tiap Tran, 34, both of no known address, have been charged with cultivating cannabis in connection with the incident. They are appearing at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today.

Two other men from London, aged 46 and 20, were bailed to return to March Police Station in December.

Cllr French said the finds had devastated her family and she now faced a massive bill- expected to run into many thousands of pounds- to repair the damage caused by her tenants.

“The only positive thing to come from all of this is the fact so many drugs have been taken out of circulation,” she said. “I and my family have always been vehemently opposed to drugs and it is good news police have uncovered these major finds.”

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