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Cannabis farm migrant jailed

PUBLISHED: 10:27 06 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:36 03 July 2010

Flashback: The home in Diana Way, Caister, where police found more than 400 cannabis plants.

Flashback: The home in Diana Way, Caister, where police found more than 400 cannabis plants.

AN illegal immigrant acted as a gardener at one of the most sophisticated cannabis farms ever found in Norfolk, involving nearly 400 plants worth about £100,000, a court was told.

Sophisticated operation: One of the rooms in the upmarket Caister home, which had been transformed into a cannabis factory.

AN illegal immigrant acted as a gardener at one of the most sophisticated cannabis farms ever found in Norfolk, involving nearly 400 plants worth about £100,000, a court was told.

Thanh Cong Nguyen, 42, was asleep when police raided the address in Diana Way, Caister, near Yarmouth.

Norwich Crown Court heard that the upmarket home was raided amid neighbours' concerns about suspicious comings and goings. The whole house was given over to cultivating cannabis apart from one room, where Vietnamese national Nguyen was found sleeping under a duvet.

The court was told that Nguyen claimed he was working for an organised crime syndicate. Nguyen admitted being concerned in the cultivation of cannabis in February this year and was jailed for two-and-a-half years. Jailing him, Judge Philip Curl said it had been a sophisticated operation for which a hydroponic system had been installed.

“As you told police in interview you were looking after these plants on behalf of a crime syndicate,” said the judge. However, he added: “Good gardeners are an important component in producing quickly a quantity of cannabis.”

Danielle O'Donovan, for Nguyen, said he had been dumped after being smuggled into Britain but had found it increasingly hard to find work as a chef without the proper legal papers.

He fell victim to a crime syndicate and had been promised a ticket home to Vietnam if he looked after the plants, she added.


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