A CANNABIS farm hidden in a third-floor flat gave off such a strong smell that builders working next door complained of headaches.
Police raided the flat in Papermill Wynd in Leith and recovered 100 cannabis plants and £30,000 worth of the drug.
Two men, aged 33 and 35, were arrested in the swoop on Sunday and charged in connection with the seizure. The pair were due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.
The windows of the property were left open by police yesterday in an effort to let fresh air into the home.
Workmen carrying out a revamp of an adjoining building told how they had grown suspicious about the smell.
One of the workmen for building firm Edinmore said: “I had been suffering from sore heads for the last two weeks because of the smell. It was so strong it came right down to the street. It was clear they were up to something dodgy in there.”
His colleague said: “It was not very discrete. You could pinpoint the exact flat it was coming from. Their neighbours must have smelled it and called the police. It’s not surprising they got caught.”
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie said: “We are committed to tackling the scourge of drugs in our local communities, and we will always act on any intelligence we receive regarding potential cannabis cultivations.
“Not only do such operations fund serious and organised criminality which impacts directly on local communities, they also carry a very serious fire hazard, putting neighbouring properties at risk.”
In January, the Evening News revealed nearly 30 cannabis plants a day were being recovered in the Lothians.
A total of 7635 plants were seized by Lothian and Borders Police in the nine months between last April and December.Officers recovered 7679 plants for the previous full year, valued at around £1.15 million.
Gangsters from China, Malaysia and Vietnam are said to be behind the majority of the cannabis farm operations.
DCI Hardie added: “At this time we would ask people to be vigilant, and if you have any suspicions that a property in your community is being used for the purposes of growing cannabis, then you should notify police immediately.”
One of Lothians’ largest cannabis seizures came in October 2010 when a cultivation of around 1000 plants – with a street value of £500,000 – was found in Whitehill Village, Dalkeith.
Last month, police uncovered cannabis worth £100,000 at a house in Ferniehill Road, Moredun, after neighbours became suspicious about bags of fertiliser dumped in a skip.
In April, cannabis with an estimated value of £135,000 was seized in two raids, one in Forrester Park Gardens and the other in Roseburn Street.