Northern Ireland

Police 'sniff out £1m cannabis haul' in Portadown

Forensic officer examines cannabis plants haul in Portadown Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Officers discovered a cannabis factory containing a large number of plants and cultivation equipment after a police patrol noticed a smell in Portadown

Cannabis found by officers in County Armagh is now believed to be worth up to £1m, the police have said.

The discovery was made on Wednesday, when officers on patrol in Portadown "noticed a smell" of cannabis.

They searched a house on Church Street and discovered a cannabis factory containing a large number of plants and cultivation equipment.

They have arrested two men, aged 36 and 21, who are currently being questioned about the seizure.

During their initial investigations on Wednesday, police estimated the cannabis plants were worth about £500,000.

'Scratch and sniff'

However, following further searches and analysis, officers said they now believe the cannabis has an estimated street value "of between £750,000 and £1m".

Det Ch Insp Stephen Wright said: "We are pleased to have removed this amount of cannabis from circulation in our community and I would urge anyone who has information in relation to drugs to contact us immediately on 101."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The cannabis factory contained lighting equipment and plants believed to have a street value of up to £1m

The officer also reminded the public that they could help to combat the illegal cultivation of cannabis by using "scratch and sniff cards".

The initiative was launched a few weeks ago by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in a bid to help the public recognised the smell of growing cannabis.

"The cards contain an element that replicates the smell of cannabis in its growing state, which is a different smell to when it is being smoked.

"We hope these cards will help to educate and inform about how you can spot and detect cannabis factories," Det Ch Insp Wright said.

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