Fraudster rented out homes for cannabis factories worth over £300k

Pawel Skorupa, 39, sourced houses from letting agents to turn them into cannabis factories across Peterborough.

Pawel Skorupa, 39, sourced houses from letting agents to turn them into cannabis factories across Peterborough. - Credit: POLICE

A member of an organised crime group who sourced houses from letting agents to turn them into cannabis factories across Peterborough has been jailed for five years. 

Pawel Skorupa, 39, was found to have used false identity documents to secure tenancy agreements at homes where police found cannabis factories worth more than £300,000. 

On February 1 2019, the Neighbourhood Support Team discovered a £51,000 cannabis factory in Sawnspool, Raventhorpe. 

In September 2019, a fire broke out at a flat in Crown Street, New England, where nine bags containing about £87,000 of harvested cannabis was found. 

In November, police received a phone call stating two men were breaking into a house in Fletton Avenue, Fletton. Officers found the house had been used as a cannabis factory and seized about £121,000 worth of cannabis plants. 

Officers found the house had been used as a cannabis factory and seized about £121,000 worth of cannabis plants.

Officers found a house in Fletton Avenue, Fletton had been used as a cannabis factory and seized about £121,000 worth of cannabis plants. - Credit: POLICE

Finally, in March 2020, a fourth cannabis factory worth about £53,000 was found inside a house in Priory Road, West Town. 

Investigations led officers to Skorupa, who was arrested at his home in Buckthorn Road, Hampton Hargate, on May 4 2020. 

A search of the home uncovered fake identity documents with Skorupa’s photograph but different names, all of which linked to the tenancies at the addresses where the cannabis factories had been found. 

Police also found about £3,700 worth of harvested cannabis and a small amount of amphetamine. 

On February 1 2019, the Neighbourhood Support Team discovered a £51,000 cannabis factory in Sawnspool, Raventhorpe. 

On February 1 2019, the Neighbourhood Support Team discovered a £51,000 cannabis factory in Sawnspool, Raventhorpe. - Credit: POLICE

On February 1 2019, the Neighbourhood Support Team discovered a £51,000 cannabis factory in Sawnspool, Raventhorpe. 

On February 1 2019, the Neighbourhood Support Team discovered a £51,000 cannabis factory in Sawnspool, Raventhorpe. - Credit: POLICE

On June 5, a further search of Skorupa’s home was carried out where about £2,000 of cannabis was found in a shopping trolley behind the garden shed. 

In interview, Skorupa claimed to know nothing about the rental properties and told offers his home in Buckthorn Road had been used as a cannabis factory before he moved in and some of the cannabis had been left behind. 

Skorupa admitted conspiracy to produce cannabis, being concerned in the supply of cannabis, two charges of possession with intent to supply cannabis, two counts of possession of cannabis, possession of amphetamine, and four counts of possession of false identity documents. 

He appeared at Cambridge Crown Court on July 29 where he was sentenced to a total of five years in prison. 

In March 2020, a cannabis factory worth about £53,000 was found inside a house in Priory Road, West Town. 

In March 2020, a cannabis factory worth about £53,000 was found inside a house in Priory Road, West Town. - Credit: POLICE

Detective constable Suzanna Pickard, who investigated, said: “This investigation has been a culmination of hard work by the Neighbourhood Support Team who actively pursue organised crime groups and have taken out several substantial cannabis factories across Peterborough. 

“The evidence gathered against Skorupa gave him no choice but to plead guilty to his crimes.” 

Pawel Skorupa, 39, sourced houses from letting agents to turn them into cannabis factories across Peterborough.

Pawel Skorupa, 39, sourced houses from letting agents to turn them into cannabis factories across Peterborough. - Credit: POLICE