Letting agents ran drugs factory

Two men who ran a lettings agency in south London, Aidan Lynch, 51, and Jason Smart 47, were both  jailed for a total of eight years last Friday at Woolwich Crown Court, an accomplice Patrick McArdle, 37, was jailed for five years and six months for conspiracy to produce cannabis and another seperate charge.

The estate agency Home to Home was being used as a front to a cannabis growing operation,  police estimated that  the factories could have had an annual revenue of more than £2million. The leading detective on the case reportedly called it a “long and complex investigation” ran through a “very sophisticated operation”.

The premises was found to be using electricity with a complex heating, lighting and ventilation system installed,  the electricity meter at the address was being bypassed and was controlled through a fuse box.

Police searched the office of Home to Home estate agents and the accused homes, no tenancy agreement for the Crystal Palace property could be found and a number of documents were seized from the offices, more than £60,000 of cash was found at Lynch’s home address, which he could not account for.

Over the period  of the investigation at least seven properties that had been managed by Lynch at Home to Home estate agents had been used as cannabis factories.

Detective Constable Kirsty Marchi, the investigating officer from Lewisham, reportedly said: “This was a very long and complex investigation.

“I am pleased we have put a stop to their criminal enterprise; the owners of the properties who placed their trust in Lynch had no knowledge that he would use their premises in order to produce drugs.”

Allen Walkey

Highly experienced businessman with a successful career in property sales and investment both in the UK and abroad. Now a freelance writer and blogger for the property and Investment Industry, keeping readers up-to-date with changes and events in a rapidly changing world.

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