Huge cannabis farm is weeded out after water leaks into flat

The house in Drylaw Avenue where a cannabis farm was discovered. Picture: Ian Georgeson
The house in Drylaw Avenue where a cannabis farm was discovered. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A HUGE haul of cannabis has been found in a flat after water leaked into the property below it – the second such find in just over a week.

The cannabis farm of more than 200 plants, worth up to £80,000, was discovered in the flat in Easter Drylaw Avenue.

Detectives said it was the third-biggest haul to be discovered in the past month, and that cannabis cultivation is increasing “across the board” in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The latest crop was uncovered on Tuesday night after the water system used on the plants started leaking into the house below.

The landlord eventually accessed the flat to find it unoccupied and crammed full of “mature” cannabis plants.

It comes after a similar incident in Clerk Street ten days ago, which saw a shop and flats badly flooded after a 500-plant cannabis farm on the top floor of a tenement started leaking water.

Police are still hunting for the latest culprit, who they believe could be tending to several farms across the Capital.

A detective sergeant who has worked for the Drugs Expert Witness Unit for 15 years said the number of both large and small-scale cultivations across the city was on the rise.

He said: “We’ve attended all of the large-scale cultivations in the Lothians and Borders over the past five years, and recently we’ve been trying to get help from neighbours and locals to track them.

“It never fails to amaze me how much equipment they get inside without looking suspicious. Finding cultivations by water seepage rather than a fire is becoming more common. It’s obviously unusual that we’ve had two in a week like that.

“You find that either somebody stays on-site or visits every couple of days, then they go off to check on another one.

“In the case of Easter Drylaw, we checked the moisture in the plants and soil and it was clear somebody had been regularly tending them.

“There was a bit of a lull for a short while, but we’ve found three in the past month. The previous month there hadn’t been any large cultivations.

“There is, without a doubt, an increase in people growing cannabis at all levels, whether you’re talking hundreds of plants for sale or a small amount for personal use.

“Cannabis has increased in price. There’s an increase in growth at all levels because the price is increasing. Organised crime groups realise this is a big money-maker.”

The third haul in the past month was discovered in Penny- well. About 100 plants were seized after neighbours recognised the strong, distinctive smell of the drugs.

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after a cannabis cultivation was recovered from an address in Easter Drylaw on Tuesday, April 10.

“Officers attended and seized around 200 plants and other cultivation equipment after a neighbour noticed water leaking from the property.

“Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible for this cultivation.”