Police responding to a reported burglary in the Carryduff area on Tuesday discovered a drugs factory.
Chief Inspector Derek McCamley said: “While at the initial incident at Mealough Road one eagle-eyed officer noticed a nearby shed was unlocked and became inquisitive.
“He had a look inside to find a full cannabis cultivation farm; 120 cultivation pots were discovered inside a number of aluminium trailers, originally designed for transporting cattle, that had been modified to grow cannabis plants.
“These trailers had been fitted out with hydroponics – essentially a very hard to control environment with intense heat and water sources to encourage the rapid growth of the plants.
“This tactic is known to cause an outbreak of fire because the factories are not monitored by the criminal but simply left to grow unchecked. This factory has now been shut down, thus depriving criminals any opportunity to build another.
“Again officers in Lisburn and Castlereagh would like to thank the member of the public for alerting us to the original burglary. While it was not connected to the cannabis factory, it did give us an opportunity to remove this harmful structure from within the community.”
Councillor Nathan Anderson welcomed the destruction of the cannabis factory.
He said, “I welcome the PSNI’s excellent work in putting a stop to this factory. Drugs destroy communities, families and lives. Criminals do not care about the harmful impact of their reckless actions or the people whose lives they callously damage.
“The swift actions of the police in this case may have saved some from a life of slavery to dangerous toxins. I appeal for anyone with any information to pass it to police.”