UK court frees Vietnamese trafficking victim from drug charges

By VnExpress   February 9, 2017 | 07:12 pm PT
New evidence found a Chinese gang took him to the U.K. at age 13 and forced him into labor.

A Vietnamese who was convicted of producing cannabis in the U.K. more than 10 years ago was declared innocent on Thursday after judges found he was a victim of human trafficking.

The man, only identified as N.T.N., was arrested in 2004 at a private house in Wirral in northwest England where he was tending 400 cannabis plants. The amount was estimated to be able to fetch more than $100,000 from the black market.

N. was a teenager when he was locked up for 15 months in February 2005 after pleading guilty to producing cannabis at a local court.

But the conviction was quashed on Thursday following his appeal.

New evidence found he had been taken from an orphanage at the age of 13 by a Chinese gang, who took him to the U.K. and forced him to work at a restaurant, Liverpool Echo reported.

One time he managed to escape but he was recaptured and sent to work at the cannabis farm. He would be beaten if the plants did not grow, the report said.

Around 3,000 Vietnamese children are in forced labor in the U.K., many ending in nail bars and illegal cannabis farms, according to local official figures.

Last month, people in Scotland found a 16-year-old Vietnamese boy as he was running from a human trafficking gang. Police said he would have been forced to work in a drug farm.

Related news:

Vietnamese teen flees human traffickers in Scotland: report

Chinese police rescue 32 Vietnamese women from trafficking ring

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