Two men police are trying to trace in connection with the cultivation of a £90k cannabis farm at a flat in Hawick hail from the former Soviet Union state of Georgia, it has emerged.
A Hawick man who inadvertently helped keep a £90,000 haul of drugs off the streets today spoke of his shock at learning he had been living underneath a cannabis farm.
Two men the police are trying to trace in connection with the cultivation of the cannabis farm inside an upstairs flat in Beaconsfield Terrace are from the former Soviet Union state of Georgia, it has also emerged.
When retired taxi driver Alan Flockhart called the fire service on Friday morning he had no idea what was about to transpire.
Water was penetrating his home from his ceiling and the occupants of the flat above were not at home.
Fire brigade officers forced entry to the property and found a huge haul of cannabis in the living room and bedroom.
As a result of the discovery a misuse of drugs warrant was executed by Scottish Borders Community Action Team (SBCAT) and cannabis with a potential value of £90,000 was recovered.
Electricity at the flat had also been dangerously bypassed requiring the attendance of the Electricity Board to make it safe.
A search has now been launched for the occupiers of the flat, who it is believed are from Georgia, which shares a border with Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Alan said: “It came as quite a shock. I always thought there was something wrong but I didn’t realise it was as bad as that. They came from Georgia and they didn’t really speak any English. They claimed to be builders in Edinburgh.
"They were in their mid-thirties and had been living there a couple of years but I had hardly any contact with them. You never heard anything from them until earlier in the week when there was a bit of noise and I thought they were moving out and the next thing I know there was water coming through the ceiling.
"I think my ceiling might not be too bad but I’m more concerned about the roof because they obviously had some ventilation stuff going through their loft and I can see daylight through the top landing and it’s open to the elements now.
“There’s a 93-year-old lady next door to me who I check on and she is okay.
"Last night was the first time in four years that I actually locked my big door because nobody has found them and I don’t know if they know what has happened. I’m not expecting trouble but I was just acting on the safe side.”
Mr Flockhart, 74, said he had been disappointed at the response to the incident on social media.
He said: “I had a woman accuse me of growing it, it’s nothing to do with me. Some of the responses have been flippant, with comments saying it is ‘just a bit of weed’. If I hadn’t phoned the fire brigade they would have never found £90,000 of cannabis up the stairs.”
A police spokesperson said: "Currently enquiries are ongoing to trace the occupier and anybody who may have information that may assist our enquiry is asked to call us on 101 or by completing our online ‘Contact Us’ form quoting the reference number 1307 of the 12th March 2021.
“Anyone wishing to report anonymously can do so by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”