A HUGE cannabis den has been discovered above a furniture shop in Hounslow High Street.
Police found plants with a street value of up to £40,000 when they raided the first-floor property above a furniture store on Tuesday morning.
Officers stormed the premises at about 9.30am, finding three rooms filled with hundreds of plants.
A maze of electric cables hung from the walls and ceiling, providing lighting and heating to maximise the seeds' growth, and electricians had to be called in to make the power supply safe.
A sign on the doors of the Italian furniture shop Mattucci, below the property, read: "Store closed temporary (sic) due to power failure. Sorry for inconvenience."
There is no suggestion the store was in any way involved.
Despite a number of makeshift vents, the stench from the cannabis factory was so strong officers could only spend a few minutes at a time inside the building before being overpowered by the fumes.
The raid was carried out following an investigation by police community support officers (PCSOs) on the Hounslow Central team.
Sgt Bev Green, who runs the team, said: "The people responsible for the factory were running a very professional operation and I have no doubt that by closing this factory we have made a significant reduction in the amount of cannabis available for sale on the streets.
"This raid was as a result of my officers' determination to ensure the premises where the cannabis was growing was identified and closed down. This sends out a clear message to others involved in this type of crime that it will not be tolerated."
A 40-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and remained in police custody when the Chronicle went to press.