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Man jailed after Fife house turned into cannabis farm with plants worth £90k+

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A Vietnamese illegal immigrant has been jailed after a Fife house was turned into a cannabis farm with plants worth more than £90,000.

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

Phuc Duck Ngo, 22, claimed he had only arrived at the house two days before and was working as a “gardener” for the illicit crop.

Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Ngo for 16 months backdated to September 23 when he was remanded in custody.

Ngo said he was not the victim of human trafficking but had paid to be brought to UK for a job at a nail bar which never materialised.

Ngo, a prisoner at Perth, previously admitted that between September 18 and 20 last year at Keir Hardie Terrace, Dunfermline, he produced a class B controlled drug, cannabis.

He returned to court for sentencing yesterday.

The property, in a residential street, was transformed into a “sophisticated” den for cultivation with the windows covered up and 351 plants.

Solicitor Roshni Joshi said “He was at pains to point out he made no profit from this. His parents had passed away and money was given to him. He came to the UK looking for better prospects.

“This is a case where his vulnerabilities have been preyed upon in typical fashion.”

A Vietnamese illegal immigrant has been jailed after a Fife house was turned into a cannabis farm with plants worth over £90,000.

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

Phuc Duck Ngo, 22, claimed he had only arrived at the house two days before and was working as a ‘gardener’ for the illicit crop.

When police went to the house in Dunfermline, they found two men who could speak little English. Ngo was upstairs and the other man tried to escape via a window but was caught.

Ngo said he was not the victim of human trafficking but had paid to be brought to UK for a job at a nail bar which never materialised.

Ngo, a prisoner at Perth, previously admitted that between September 18 and 20 last year at Keir Hardie Terrace, Dunfermline, he produced a class ‘B’ controlled drug, cannabis.

He returned to court for sentencing yesterday accompanied in the dock by an interpreter.

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

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

A suspect visited an address in Dunfermline, prompting police officers to visit the property to check on the wellbeing of the occupants.

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.

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

There were 351 cannabis plants with a maximum street value of £93,600 and black plastic sheeting over the windows.

The depute said 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.

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.

She went on, “He was at pains to point out he made no profit from this. His parents had passed away and money was given to him. He came to the UK looking for better prospects.

“Now, he’s desperate to return to Vietnam. He’s not even sure if his family know where he is.

“This is a case where his vulnerabilities have been preyed upon in typical fashion.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown told Ngo: “Those who are involved in any way in the commercial production of controlled drugs will be dealt with very firmly by the courts.

“You were only involved for two days and you are also a victim to the extent of what you were told about your prospects if you came to the UK. You will no doubt be deported in due course.”

Sheriff Brown jailed Ngo for 16 months backdated to September 23 when he was remanded in custody.

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