Two Britons arrested after showing police video of cannabis farm instead of Google Translate

Police eventually discovered a cannabis farm in a village in North East England
Police eventually discovered a cannabis farm in a village in North East England Copyright Northumbria Police
By Rachael Kennedy
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One of the men went to open Google Translate on his phone to help him communicate with the officers but ended up showing them a video of a cannabis farm instead.


Police in northern England have uncovered a "significant" cannabis growing operation — all after a man accidentally showed them a video on his phone.

Two men, aged 38 and 22, have since been arrested on suspicion of producing the drug, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in the UK if convicted.

Northumbria Police said on Monday that its officers had stopped a car near Houghton-le-Spring with the two suspects inside, one of whom did not speak English as his first language so tried to open Google Translate on his phone.

"Much to his horror, a video appeared on his screen which showed a significant cannabis farm in operation," the force said, adding that it later led to the discovery of the 600-plant farm spanning three floors of a house in a nearby village.

"It’s safe to say the suspect was a little shocked and tried to quickly lock his phone in the hope that nobody had seen."

The two men, who have not been named, have since been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

“Quite often, cannabis farms such as these can be used to fund more serious criminality across the region, so this seizure will provide a dent in the pockets of those behind it," said Sergeant Steve Passey.

"I’d also stress that these cannabis farms can be a potential death trap – often the electricity has been by-passed which poses a serious and real fire risk to not only the property involved but families living in the vicinity.

"We do not apologise for our robust stance towards this type of criminality, and under the banner of Operation Sentinel, we will continue to target serious criminals and put those who undermine the fabric of our communities behind bars."

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