1000 cannabis plants & illegal brewery seized in Bolton

An illegal alcohol distillery has been dismantled by HM Revenue & Customs in Bolton.

HMRC officers searched an industrial estate in the city on Tuesday where they discovered large quantities of alcohol and five stills, the equipment used in distillation.

Red diesel was also seized along with two cars and an industrial-sized container full of the fuel.

HMRC also alerted colleagues in Greater Manchester Police after they discovered more than 1,000 cannabis plants at the site.

A total of 12 40-foot trailers were filled with the alcohol by HMRC officers, which carried potential lost revenue totalling £300,000.

Eamonn O’Neill, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal alcohol will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clamp down on the illicit alcohol market which costs the UK around £1 billion per year. This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.”

Chief Inspector Mike Russell, of GMP’s Bolton district, said: “This is one of the largest drugs farms ever discovered in Bolton and we believe there are more than 1,000 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of around £300,000 that have now been sent off for analysis.


“This was a very sophisticated operation and would have taken a lot of time and effort to set up and maintain.

“We would appeal for anyone with any information or who may have seen anything suspicious going on in or around the building to contact police.

“This is an excellent example of how we work with partners like HMRC to tackle crime across the region.”

Investigations are continuing and no arrests have been made.

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