Beverley restaurateur had secret door to £400,000 cannabis factory

Rakip Karanxha/Istandbul Restaurant
Rakip Karanxha owned Istanbul Restaurant. Credit: Google/Humberside Police

A restaurateur who had a secret door connecting his business to the "huge" cannabis factory he ran has been jailed.

Police discovered almost £400,000 of plants after an officer smelt cannabis coming from a disused building on North Bar Without in Beverley in December 2021.

During a search of the premises they found a concealed door to the storeroom of Istanbul Restaurant, run by Rakip Karanxha.

Karanxha, 45, was arrested but denied any knowledge of the sophisticated set-up and "didn't even know what cannabis was".

However, phone records showed that he was in regular contact with a "gardener" living inside the hidden cannabis operation.

Karanxha, of Butterfly Meadows, Beverley, denied producing cannabis but he was convicted after a retrial at Grimsby Crown Court.

He was jailed for five years.

PC Karl Freeman, of Humberside Police, said: “This was a huge cannabis grow containing over 350 live cannabis plants with an estimated street value of around £395,000 as well as an estimated £2680 worth of dried cannabis.“The impact that the drugs trade, and the crime that often comes with it, can have on a community should not be underestimated and I am pleased that this huge haul of drugs will now never see our streets."

Another man who was found inside the cannabis factory was jailed for 12 months.


Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.