On the surface, it may seem like a story that’s highly relevant to millennial interests.
Police in Wiltshire uncovered a massive weed farm inside a bunker built in 1985 to protect government officials and local dignitaries in the event of a nuclear attack.
What’s cooler than thousands of cannabis plants, worth 1 million ($1.26 million) in total, for your doomsday scenario?
The raid is also straight from an action movie. The bunker, which was owned by the Ministry of Defence and shut down in 1992, is almost impenetrable so officers had to wait for three people to leave in order to detain them and gain access to the site.
There are approximately 20 rooms in the building, split over two floors, each 200 feet long and 70 feet wide. Almost every single room had been converted for the wholesale production of cannabis plants, and there was a large amount of evidence of previous crops. This was an enormous set up.” detective inspector Paul Franklin said.
However, there is more.
Inside the bunker, police also found three other people, aged 15, 19 and 37, “all of no fixed abode.”
According to Franklin, they were undocumented immigrants “who were held there against their will, not allowed to leave and forced to work as gardeners” in the marijuana factory.
“We believe they are victims of human trafficking,” he said. “They were forced to sleep inside the bunker, which is all built in concrete so it’s like living underground.”
The three men who were detained outside the bunker, aged 27, 30 and 45, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and human trafficking offences.
Franklin said that the phenomenon of drug cultivators exploiting undocumented immigrants for growing cannabis is sadly common in the UK.
A report by the National Police Chiefs’ Council stated that there is “a continued link between commercial cultivation, modern slavery and people living without legal permission to remain in the UK, including the exploitation of vulnerable adults and children.”