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A massive Police Scotland operation at a unit in Thistle Business Park, East Main Street in Broxburn, on a Saturday morning in January netted a haul with a street value estimated at £750,000.
The haul included hundreds of cannabis plants being grown under powerful heat lamps, complete with an irrigation and ventilation system. Two men were detained and have been reported to the procurator fiscal ahead of a possible prosecution.
Details of the size of the bust emerged as Sergeant Iain Wells emphasised the importance of community led intelligence in tackling the drug trade as he outlined figures for the last quarter of the year and revealed that 61 warrants had been issued by officers in West Lothian under the Misuse of Drugs Act in the last year.
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Sergeant Wells told a meeting of Linlithgow Local Area Committee that 13 of those warrants had been issued in the county in the last quarter of 2020-21, that is from January to 31 March.
His report to the committee added: “We also explore all opportunities through Proceeds of Crime legislation with over £100,000 of cash and assets identified for restraint orders.
"A significant cultivation was uncovered within West Lothian with an approximate value of £750,000, estimated to be the largest cultivation discovery of its kind in Scotland this year.”
He told the meeting: “We continue to develop drugs intelligence from the local community. Drugs enforcement requires information from sources to build a picture and fill in the pieces of the jigsaw and the use of community intelligence in this cannot be underestimated.”
Police Scotland also works with partnership agencies and the council on reports of drug cultivation and drug use and supply issues raised by tenants.
West Lothian officers continue to disrupt organised crime groups by targeting drugs supply offences, gathering intelligence. This includes working with UK Border Agency to target those involved in online drug purchases.
Thanks to this multi-agency approach, a substantial number of packages have been intercepted and investigations followed up, the police report said.