Five people were arrested in connection with the raid (Picture: PA)
An industrial scale meth lab thought to be producing up to £10million worth of amphetamine each month has been uncovered during a police raid on a farm in Worcestershire.
Four men and a woman, aged between 28 and 60, were arrested in connection with the raid on farm buildings on Ullenhall Lane, near Redditch, on Tuesday.
Firefighters and chemical experts were also drafted in to assist as the farm building itself is too hazardous for police to enter. Footage of the interior has been sent off to scientists for analysis.
The discovery comes as part of a large-scale operation against the sophisticated encrypted phone network EncroChat, which is used by serious organised criminals across the globe.
Only a handful of meth labs, made infamous by TV series Breaking Bad, have been uncovered in the UK.
According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), who led the operation alongside Warwickshire Police, the crime group was producing around a tonne of amphetamine per month.
That amount would be worth £2million if retailed wholesale – and up to £10million if peddled at street level.
Inside the industrial-scale lab believed to have been producing large quantities of amphetamine (Picture: PA)
The raid took place on farm buildings near Redditch (Picture: PA)
Vats and other equipment was found inside (Picture: PA)
NCA Branch Commander Peter Stevens said: ‘This illicit drugs lab was producing extremely large amounts of amphetamine for distribution to crime groups across the UK and into our communities, bringing with it violence, fear, and exploitation.
‘The operation, which required a huge amount of planning to ensure it was conducted safely, will have had a huge impact on the organised crime groups involved, depriving them of commodity and profit.’
Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin Smith, from Warwickshire Police, said: ‘Such an operation taking place in such a quiet, rural location will no doubt have caused some concerns for people in the area.
‘Our officers will be working with people in the local community in the coming days to provide reassurance.’
Police raided two other properties in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and Quinton, Birmingham, in connection with the investigation.
It is the latest in a number of investigations during Operation Venetic, an NCA-led breakthrough against the global private messaging tools which had kept organised criminal activity concealed until it was breached.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.