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UK: Cannabis cafe suspects released on bail

Richard Gurner

The Argus, Worthing

Saturday 13 Oct 2007

Two people have been questioned on suspicion of money laundering after a
raid on a controversial cannabis cafe.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said a man in his thirties and a woman in
her forties were arrested as officers smashed their way into the shop in
Lancing on Thursday evening.

Police used a two-tonne tractor to rip down a wall to get in - the
second time they have had to break their way into the building in
Freshbrook Road.

The pair arrested at the 6pm raid on suspicion of money-laundering were
interviewed and released on bail until December while officers carry out
further inquiries.

A quantity of cannabis and £2,000 cash was recovered by officers. A
teenage boy and girl were later arrested and cautioned for drug offences.

Police previously raided the property back in July and seized a small
quantity of cannabis along with cash.

On Thursday's visit a CCTV camera had been linked to televisions inside
the building, giving the occupants some warning of who was at the door.

Inspector James Asser, of Sussex Police, said officers were impeded in
their entry due to the darkness of the building and the thick smoke
inside where the inhabitants had burned plants during the raid.

He added: "I can quite safely say the smell was cannabis."

Adur district commander Chief Inspector Lawrence Hobbs said: "This
operation is part of our ongoing investigation into the illegal supply
of cannabis within this cafe.

"We are aware from our previous raid that the management have spent
considerable expense in heavily fortifying the premises. I can only
conclude from that it is with the express intent of preventing an entry
by police. Why else would they do that?

"We have therefore deployed specialist equipment, such as a tractor and
officers from the operations department of Sussex Police based at
headquarters, who are especially trained in entry to fortified buildings."

Police said due to the investigation they were unable to say whether the
cafe could reopen.

What do you think about the raid?




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