Let officers refuse £ 7,000 bribe to ignore cannabis farm

A court has heard that a pair of rental agents have been offered £ 7,000 for not reporting rental property in a ‘cannabis factory’ in Exeter to police.

The couple declined the offer after discovering the drug factory, which was run by 25-year-old Albanian tenant Anisi Hamollari (pictured) who had emptied the property after renting it out in February 2020.

He grew 97 cannabis plants worth £ 200,000 there.

Following complaints from neighbors in June of that year about the strong smell coming from the house, the two anonymous rental agents were called in to inspect the address, but Hamollari turned them away twice before they ultimately access it.

It was at this point that he offered a financial incentive to keep his activities silent.

When this failed and officers called the police, Hamollari escaped and was caught in the West Midlands during a vehicle stop and, although he provided false Italian identity documents, the the car contained genuine ones indicating his true identity, as well as a bundle of cash.

Hamollari told police he was trafficked into the UK by organized criminals and coerced into committing the offenses, report DevonLive, and that he believed his work in the UK would be legitimate.

Exeter Crown Court heard damage to property amounted to £ 15,000, but £ 6,438 paid by Albanian as rent six months in advance and £ 2,839 seized when stopping the vehicle could help to some extent to recover these costs.

Hamollari was sentenced to 18 months in prison and will be deported upon his release from prison.

Learn more about cannabis farms.

Photo credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

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Neighbors fear falling cannabis farm house prices

Residents felt “unsettled” by the discovery of two cannabis farms on their street – in just nine days.

In the latest incident, police were called to an address on Smith Street in Longton after a “commotion” around 1 a.m. on Sunday.

It is alleged that a group of men armed with bats assaulted another man.

Police subsequently seized 250 cannabis plants from an address on the street.

It comes after 80 cannabis plants were seized at a second Smith Street address on Friday, June 11.

44-year-old student Elizabeth Hooley said: “A lot has changed over the years. I lived here 15 years and before we all knew each other, and now it’s not the same.

“We don’t really know what’s going on. All I heard was the commotion. It started around 1 a.m. with the horn beeping.

Police in Smith Street, Longton

“We got used to the fact that the police are more present than they should be. I’m worried about the impact this will have on house prices, I’m worried about having children living in the area.

“You can’t believe it’s been going under your nose for so long.”

Customer assistant Sue Hughes, 58, said: “It’s a quiet street, the neighbors stay together. This is probably why they thought they were able to do it.

Smith Street in Longton

Pete Johnson, 81, has lived on the streets for 51 years.

He said, “It gets a little thick and fast, doesn’t it?” Maybe the consequences are not strong enough for them. I don’t think they can prevent it because there are so many crooks.

Staffordshire Police have yet to make any arrests following the raids this month.

Anyone with information should call the police on 101, citing incident number 449 of June 11 and incident number 25 of June 20, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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