September 3 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Residents of Bungay have been left in shock after police seized around half a million pounds worth of cannabis from a drug den in the centre of the town.
More than 900 cannabis plants were found at a former cigar storage building in Nethergate Street, known to many Bungay residents as the former snooker hall, which was used from the late 1980s to 1990s.
Police executed the raid at 2pm last Saturday after receiving information from a member of the public, breaking down the door to gain entry to the building.
A police scenes of crime officer was sent to examine the sealed-off building, which is surrounded by homes, and a structural engineer from Waveney District Council was called to inspect the building and make sure it was safe.
Luke Dix, who lives a stone’s throw away from the building, came home just as the raid was being executed.
He said: “I could see lots of police cars and a police van and the door to the building was off its hinges like it had been busted open.
“I knew it was a raid of some sort and because of the smell I put two and two together.
“Everyone in the town has been talking about the smell for ages, but I thought that building was abandoned.
“Nethergate is an extremely quiet street. Nothing like that ever happens here or anywhere in the town.
“Everyone is really shocked.”
Bungay mayor Judy Cloke, said she was “really, really surprised” to hear a cannabis factory had been discovered in the town, while other residents who did not wish to be named said they had noticed a strong smell in the area for the past few months.
Officers arrested one man at the scene and then in the early hours of the morning on Sunday police arrested another man at a property in the town at Earsham Street.
The men, Sy Thuong Nguyen, 25, and Huan Van Chu, 18, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with one count each of producing cannabis.
Both men spoke through a Vietnamese interpreter and entered no plea during the hearing.
Naomi Turner, prosecuting, told the court it was a “fairly sophisticated cannabis factory”, with the electricity meter bypassed and rooms specifically divided for various stages of growth of plants.
The two men, of no fixed address, were remanded in custody to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 16.