Drugs and guns found in underground bunkers in Rainham

�A maze of underground bunkers used to grow cannabis was discovered in an industrial site in what police said was one of the most sophisticated drugs operations they have come across.

The subterranean complex in Launders Lane, Rainham, was made up of buried shipping containers.

Guns and bombs were also discovered in the single largest seizure of firearms in London this year.

Site owner John Reilly, 46, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after admitting a series of drugs and weapons offences, at Snaresbrook Crown Court on September 13.

The site was raided by Havering police and territorial support officer (TSO) in February. Detectives found a trapdoor in a portacabin leading to a fully functional drug factory made up of five shipping containers.


The containers contained around 400 cannabis plants, four handguns, one AK47, two sawn-off firearms, six petrol bombs and around �20,000 in cash, police said.

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Det Spt Tony Bennett said after the case: “The seizure of such a large number of handguns and the significant custodial sentence has contributed greatly to tackling gun crime across London.”

Ten others were later acquitted of any involvement in criminal activity.

Reilly received six years for the production of a controlled drug and a further six years for the possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition.

Chief Insp Jo Edwards of the TSG, said: “The scale of criminality on the site exceeded all expectations. The level of sophistication used for cannabis cultivation was incredible along with the single largest seizure of firearms in London this year.

“The police partnership has without doubt severely disrupted the illegal distribution of cannabis in east London and Essex.”

and with the seizing of the firearms and ammunition, impacted on violent crime in London.”