AN ‘ingenious’ cannabis factory buried underground has been found by police.

The £200,000 drugs haul was hidden in a bunker made from two shipping containers sunken into the ground behind an East Lancashire business.

Police discovered 500 plants at VW Motorsport in Haslingden Old Road, Knuzden.

Acting on a tip-off, officers raided the business and found the submerged drugs farm, accessed through a hole in a concrete wall hidden behind some shelving, into the underground area.

Police described the ‘extremely professional set-up’ as ‘ingenious’ and costing £10,000 to build.

It had its own watering system set up with about 500 plants.

DI Neil Ashton said: “When we arrived, we found two huge shipping containers which had been buried behind the wall and under the soil.

“We managed to gain access through a hole in the wall which was hidden behind some shelving – it was a very professional set-up.

“I have no doubt this will have a significant impact on the supply of cannabis across East Lancashire.

“We are committed to acting on information to remove drugs from our communities and I urge residents to report their suspicions so we can take action.”

Police believe the cannabis farm may never have been discovered if not for community information.

Four men, aged 43, 41, 31 and 16, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis production. They were all being interviewed yesterday and have been bailed, pending further inquiries, until June.

Anyone with information about cannabis production should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.