POLICE have smashed a major drugs operation after an early-morning raid a £1 million Inverclyde cannabis factory.

More than 600 plants and a raft of high-tech cultivation equipment including air filters and state-of-the-art heating and lighting rigs were found inside a premises in Port Glasgow.

Officers reacted to a call from a member of the public, who noticed a strong, pungent smell coming from what appeared to be a disused unit on Muirshiel Road.

Police smashed their way inside just after 10.30am and discovered a high-tech operation, pictured, capable of producing high volumes of the drug.

They spent a number of days at the discovery and removed plants with an estimated street value of £985,400.

Senior officers today hailed the discovery as a major victory in the war against drugs in Inverclyde.

Inspector Julie MacDonald said that enquiries are now underway to try and trace the professional gang behind the cultivation.

She told the Tele: "We received reports of a strong smell from the premises and officers attended.

"Thereafter police obtained a search warrant for the premises.

"Entry was gained and a large scale cannabis cultivation with an estimated street value of £985,408 was seized from the property.

"Enquiries are ongoing to trace the person or persons involved."

Inspector MacDonald added: "This substantial recovery emphasises our commitment to disrupting drug activity and local supply.

"Drugs cause real devastation to our communities and families. Police Scotland will continue to target anyone involved in drugs and the criminality that surrounds it.

"This recovery originated from an observant member of the public coming to us with information that allowed us to act.

"It shows how important information from the general public can be, and I would urge anyone who hears, sees or notices anything they consider suspicious to get in touch with police."

Anyone with concerns or information regarding the cultivation or drugs in their area is asked to contact 101 or alternatively get in touch with Crimestoppers on 0800555111 anonymously.