UK jails Vietnamese gang for farming cannabis

By Hoang Khanh Phong   December 15, 2018 | 06:12 pm GMT+7
UK jails Vietnamese gang for farming cannabis
A cannabis farm in England. Photo by Reuters/Kham

A U.K. court Wednesday sentenced 16 Vietnamese nationals to prison for running illegal cannabis farms worth $1.2 million.

According to the indictment, the gang, 11 men and five women, used false identities and fraudulent documents to rent 21 homes in small towns in the Lancashire County before turning them into cannabis farms and raking in hundreds of thousands of British pounds from the illegal business.

Some of the gang members presented themselves as a couple with a new-born child to gain their landlords’ confidence. Later, they turned the rented properties into cannabis farms, the Lancashire Evening Post reported.

In March this year, police officers in Lancashire raided a number of properties leased by the gang members as part of their investigation to crack down on the large-scale drug ring. Police also seized cannabis worth around £1 million ($1.2 million) and $315,639 in cash.

Police said the operation was run by Jack Nguyen and his female accomplice Trang Nguyen with the assistance of two women Hoai Nguyen and Thanh Thi Nguyen, Jack’s girlfriend.

The court sentenced Jack Nguyen to seven years and four months in jail for money laundering and cannabis production and supply.

Trang Nguyen and Hoai Nguyen got jail terms of three years and nine months for producing and supplying cannabis.

Hoai Nguyen was imprisoned for one year and six months after she pleaded guilty to two counts of "money laundering."

The remaining 12, involved in the illegal cannabis operation, were jailed from eight months to two years.

"Many defendants claimed to be trafficked and some claimed to be children, (but) all of these defenses were proved to be lies and simply just a tactic used to avoid detection," the court ruled.

 
 
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