Pubdate: Fri, 12 Oct 2007
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Richard Gurner
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


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 UKP2,000 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.
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