Three illegal immigrants who ran a vast three-floor cannabis farm in an abandoned nightclub have been jailed.
National Crime Agency officers stormed the giant drugs den, formerly the Big Bamboo club, in Trinity Street, Coventry, smashing through several reinforced doors to get in.
They found contained around 1,500 cannabis plants spread across the building’s three floors.
As well as the plants, said to be worth more than £1m, 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.
Albanians Andi Cani, 24, and Adrian Lleshaj, 29, tried to hide on the roof during the raid
but were captured with the help of West Midlands Police drones.
The pair, along with Vietnamese national Cao Van Vu, 31, admitted paying people smugglers to get them into the UK illegally.
The trio admitted producing a controlled drug at Warwick Crown Court.
Vu was jailed for 40 months, Lleshaj received 35 months while Cani was locked up for 28 months.
All three will face deportation after serving their jail terms.
NCA 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.
‘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.’