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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 16:55 GMT
Police destroy cannabis worth 2m
Cannabis plants
A factory of 200 plants can turn over 30,000 profit in three months
Cannabis worth more than 2.5m has been destroyed by police in a series of raids across England and Wales.

Fifteen forces taking part in Operation Keymer arrested 133 people, including one wanted for murder.

Officers also seized 160,000 in cash and assets including four houses, five cars and antiques in the same swoop.

The two-week effort was aimed at closing cannabis factories and disrupting criminal gangs who are running them.

'Hard nosed'

The Association of Police Officers (Acpo) said 28,000 cannabis plants and 54 kilograms of prepared cannabis were destroyed as a result of the initiative, which ran from 25 September to 5 October.

Acpo spokesman Allan Gibson said the operation had been "a hard-nosed and highly successful policing operation focused on organised criminals making millions of pounds from producing illegal and harmful skunk.

"Many of the criminals we have targeted are linked to other forms of crime and violence, in one case officers found evidence that millions of pounds had been transferred out of the UK.

"The operation has also closed down a large number of potential death traps presenting fire risks to the lives of innocent members of the public."

'Skunk'

A loaded firearm was also recovered in the operation which focused on the production of 'skunk' - a potentially dangerous form of cannabis.

The drug, which contains far higher quantities of the chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than 'herbal' or 'resin', makes users more vulnerable to negative side-effects.

Skunk contains 12% THC but resin and herbal has a 3-4% THC content.

Police calculate that a small factory of 200 cannabis plants can yield over 30,000 profit in three months.


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