Cannabis plants found in factory in Scudamore Road, Braunstone Frith, Leicester
Police have seized up to 2,000 cannabis plants growing in a disused factory.
Officers discovered the mature plants in the apparently unoccupied building in Scudamore Road, Braunstone Frith, Leicester, on Monday afternoon.
The seizure was one of the largest of its kind in the city in recent times.
Five men, aged 16, 18, 19, 20 and 42, were last night charged with production of cannabis. They were due to appear at Leicester Magistrates' Court today.
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Police were still clearing plants and cultivation equipment from the building yesterday afternoon.
Inspector Kevin Morris, commander of Beaumont Leys police station, said Monday night's raid followed a tip-off.
Insp Morris said: "We might have never discovered it without the information from the member of the public who told us about it, so we are very grateful to them. The people who set this place up will have spent a pretty penny on it.
"There were a lot of plants and cultivation and ventilation equipment in there.
"It was a big operation, so it was quite a coup for us to close it down before the cannabis was disseminated across Leicester or further afield.
"I would urge people to contact us if they have information about drugs crime in this area.
"I can assure them we will act on their information."
A nearby business owner, who asked not to be named, said: "We became aware of a lot of police activity and wondered what was going on.
"It all became obvious when we saw police officers removing plants, lighting and ventilation equipment.
"They've been there quite a while moving this stuff and you can smell it in the air.
"It's amazing this was able to go on underneath our noses, but if people are determined to pull off something like this they will come and go when there's nobody around."
Police have urged people to call them if they believe a property is being used for cannabis cultivation.