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Human trafficking probe uncovers £90k of cannabis plants in Fife house

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An investigation into human trafficking in Fife revealed a Dunfermline house had been turned into a cannabis farm crammed with plants worth more than £90,000.

The property, in a residential street, was transformed into a “sophisticated” cultivation operation, with the windows covered up. Police found 351 plants at various stages of growth.

The illegal enterprise was uncovered as a result of investigations into human trafficking by an English police force.

A Vietnamese man admitted his part in the operation when he appeared from custody at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, accompanied by a translator.

Phuc Duck Ngo, 22, a prisoner at Perth, admitted that between September 18 and 20 at Keir Hardie Terrace, Dunfermline, he produced the class B controlled drug, cannabis.

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said the offence came to light following an investigation by Sussex Police into human trafficking.

A suspect, thought to have been involved in human trafficking and slavery, visited an address in Dunfermline.

This resulted in local police officers visiting the property to check on the wellbeing of those living there.

They found two men in the house, one of whom tried to jump out of the living room window but was apprehended.

The officers then found Ngo upstairs where the entire second floor and loft were filled with a “sophisticated hydroponic system”.

Neither man was able to speak much, if any, English, the court was told.

There were four envelopes containing a total of £2,050 in cash in the house, which was “sparsely furnished” with just a sofa and fold-down bed.

There were 351 cannabis plants in the house with a maximum street value of £93,600.

There was black plastic sheeting over the windows.

The depute fiscal said it was accepted Ngo’s role in the operation was a caretaker or “gardener”, responsible for watering the plants.

Police later received information from the UK Border Agency that Ngo was in the UK illegally.

Defence solicitor Roshni Joshi said her client had paid money to travel from Vietnam to England and had come to Scotland, initially hoping to find work as a nail technician.

Sheriff Alastair Brown called for reports and Ngo will remain in custody until sentencing on February 11.

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