AN Edinburgh man caught red-handed at a £1.66 million cannabis farm was snared after a passer-by recognised the pungent smell coming from a disused pub.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Bartosz Gloskowski, 23, of West Granton Road, admitted producing cannabis at the Queen’s Head Inn, Selkirk, between March and October 2014.
The court was told that on March 8, 2014, Gloskowski, who claimed to be driving for his own company, Speedtrans, was stopped by customs as he drove through the Channel Tunnel.
Two pallets full of scales, lights, vents, fans, chemicals and trays were found.
These are typically used in the cultivation of cannabis.
Customs seized £4800 worth of Polish zloty under the Proceeds of Crime Act and allowed Gloskowski and his cargo into the UK.
Advocate depute David Taylor, prosecuting, said that Gloskowski rented a flat above the Queen’s Inn.
Police were sent to check out the area after a woman phoned to say she had noticed the smell of cannabis.
She told officers the smell was growing stronger and said she believed someone was growing cannabis plants.
Mr Taylor said: “When police arrived they could smell cannabis in the street. They then saw the accused open the front door of his flat and noticed an overpowering smell of cannabis from within the property.”
A search of the property revealed that, using the attic space, another flat could be accessed and, from there, a wooden panel was screwed into the floor which gave access to the disused pub.
In the second flat there were 50 bags full of stripped plant stalks.
When police officers entered through the hatch in the Queens Head Inn they found a large cultivation of cannabis plants.
It was clear that the electricity supply had been bypassed.
Mr Taylor added: “It would appear that virtually all of the available floor space within the Queens Head Inn had been given over to an industrial scale production of cannabis.
“In total 1991 cannabis plants recovered.”
Gloskowski told police he rented the property for £500, but refused to answer any other questions.
His fingerprints and DNA were found on the inside of four pairs of disposable gloves and bottles of beer and water. Police drug experts said that the maximum street value of the cannabis obtained from the plants would be £1,660,000.
Judge Lord Matthews deferred sentence on Gloskowski, who is remanded in custody, until May 10 for background reports.