There are literally thousands of disused bingo halls dotted around the UK and while the vast majority are left in a state of disrepair, a handful are targeted by criminals who go out of their way to ‘decorate’ the walls and floors for camouflage purposes. When I got wind of yet another bingo hall being linked to the growing of drugs, I wasn’t exactly surprised – there have been some major arrests in recent years, but I was surprised to learn the mastermind behind a £1,000,000 cannabis empire was a 16-year old lad!
This story takes us to bonnie Scotland where a disused bingo hall became a hub for a duo looking to alter their fortunes, but unbeknownst to the pair, the boys in blue were keeping a close eye on what was going on. Major heat is needed for cannabis plants to thrive and we don’t mean bunging the heating up to the max – these plants need specialist equipment that a police helicopter can pick up super easy through thermal imagery.
The police said the cultivation seized had a street value of somewhere between £600K and £1million and a 16-year old boy and his 40-year old accomplice have been charged in connection with that find. A police spokeswoman said: “At about midday on Friday, 4 December, 2020, officers, acting under warrant, searched a disused bingo hall on Brown Street, Port Glasgow, and discovered a cannabis cultivation with an estimated street value of a six-figure sum. A 40-year-old man and a 16-year-old male youth, have been charged and are expected to appear at Greenock Sheriff Court on Monday, 7 December, 2020.”
Bingo Bang Up:
In other news, a Bradford man has been warned that he will likely face Christmas (and New Year) behind bars after stealing more than £95K from his employer – Buzz Bingo. The 35-year old ex-bingo worker stole the phenomenal sum of money between January 13th and May 17th last year and after pleading guilty to the offence, he was due to face the judge (and jury) at Bradford Crown Court on November 24th, but his case was adjourned until December 11th due to there being no report submitted from the probation service.
Described by his barrister, Robin Frieze, as a man of previous good character, Christopher France was handed bail until this extended court date but was warned by Jonathan Sandiford QC “This is a very serious matter. It crosses the custody threshold.”
The former Gala Bingo premises in Bradford is scheduled to reopen this week under Tier 2 restrictions, however, there are new bingo rules in place for visitors. A new maximum capacity has been introduced, there will be markers on the floor of all UK bingo clubs, Perspex screens have been installed, many seats have been marked as out of use and contactless payments have been increased to £45.
Source: “Boy, 16, and Man Charged After Police Scotland Find £1m worth of Cannabis in Disused Bingo Hall”. The Scotsman. December 05, 2020.