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Three jailed for running £1,000,000 cannabis factory in abandoned nightclub

Three men have been jailed after the ‘largest and most sophisticated’ cannabis factory UK officers had ever seen was discovered strewn across dance floors inside a former nightclub.

Police were stunned to find more than 1,000 plants when they raided what was Coventry’s Big Bamboo venue on October 15.

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers smashed through several reinforced doors to access the ‘industrial’ grow which stretched over three floors in the city centre venue, with officers valuing the factory at £1 million.

Sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, worth around £150,000, was also discovered at the site,

The electricity supply in the building had also been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside.

Albanians Andi Cani, 24, and Adrian Lleshaj, 29, and Cao Van Vu, 31, from Vietnam, were arrested at the abandoned nightclub.

On Tuesday, Vu was jailed for 40 months, Lleshaj for 35 months, and Cani for 28 months.

Big Bamboo. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
The three-floor cannabis farm was found in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry (Picture: SWNS)
Big Bamboo. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
National Crime Agency officers were shocked after raiding the property in October 2020 (Picture: SWNS)
Big Bamboo. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
£150,000 worth of equipment was found in the venue (Picture: SWNS)

Police drone footage shows Cani and Lleshaj trying to hide on the roof as officers stormed the premises before they were eventually found and arrested.

All three men admitted producing a controlled drug at Warwick Crown Court.

In interviews with NCA investigators, all three men admitted having paid people smugglers to assist them in entering the UK illegally.

They will face deportation after serving their jail terms.

The NCA said it was ‘the largest and most sophisticated cannabis factory’ they had ever seen.

Andi Cani. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
Andi Cani was jailed for 28 months (Picture: SWNS)
Adrian Lleshaj. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
Adrian Lleshaj was handed a 35 month sentence (Picture: SWNS)
Cao Van Vu. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
Cao Van Vu is set to spend 40 months in prison (Picture: SWNS)

The organisation’s Branch Commander Mick Pope said: ‘These men were involved in producing cannabis on an industrial scale.

‘It is certainly the largest and most sophisticated cannabis factory ever found by the NCA.

‘They were responsible for maintaining and storing drugs and equipment worth over a million pounds, which shows the wider criminal network behind this operation clearly trusted them.’

Big Bamboo. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
NCA officers said it was the ‘largest and most sophisticated’ cannabis factory they had ever seen (Picture: SWNS)
Police drone footage of the arrests. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered (Picture: SWNS)
Big Bamboo. Three men have been jailed for running a huge three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub in Coventry. See SWNS story SWMDcannabis. National Crime Agency officers, supported by colleagues from West Midlands Police, raided the property on Trinity Street on 15 October 2020. They had to smash through several reinforced doors to access the interior, which they found contained around 1500 cannabis plants spread across the building?s three floors. NCA experts value the haul at over ?1 million. As well as the plants officers recovered sophisticated planting, growing and irrigation equipment, valued at around ?150,000. The electricity supply at the property had been bypassed, with the equipment inside directly and illegally connected to the commercial supply from the street outside. Three men were arrested, Albanian nationals Andi Cani (aged 24) and Adrian Lleshaj (29) and Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu (31). Cani and Lleshaj attempted to hide on the roof of the building as officers entered, but were captured with the assistance of West Midlands Police drone unit, who were working with the NCA.
Big Bamboo was a nightclub in Coventry (Picture: SWNS)

He continued: ‘The takedown of this facility will have had a huge impact on the wider organised crime group, depriving them of potentially millions of pounds in profit, which would have been used to fund further criminality and exploitation.

‘Our investigation continues.’

The operation was supported by officers from West Midlands Police’s Cannabis Disruption Team.

Chief Superintendent Lee Wharmby, head of West Midlands Police’s Operations department, said: ‘Our pilots helped detain two people using our state-of-the art drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

‘It’s always great when we can help out a partner agency. Our job is to protect the public and drones are invaluable to us.’

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