Brothers jailed for growing drugs

VIETNAMESE gardeners who grew drugs in a Suffolk house converted into a cannabis factory have been jailed.Cuong Duc Pham, 18, and his brother Thuc Duc Pham, 20, were discovered amongst plants, hydroponic systems and bags of compost.

VIETNAMESE gardeners who grew drugs in a Suffolk house converted into a cannabis factory have been jailed.

Cuong Duc Pham, 18, and his brother Thuc Duc Pham, 20, were discovered amongst plants, hydroponic systems and bags of compost.

Stephen Spence, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court said the three bedroom house had been converted into a cannabis factory where 369 plants were found growing.

He said professional hydroponic systems had been installed, the rooms had been screened off and the electric metre had been bypassed to provide free heating for the plants.

On February 12 this year police raided the property in Blackbird Road, Beck Row, near Mildenhall, and found Thuc walking down the stairs and Cuong hiding in a small cupboard.

Mr Spence said: “This was a commercial operation and these were the two gardeners. It is quite clear some enhancements to the plants had taken place and new plants were being brought on.”

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The illegal immigrant brothers pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

Joanne Eley for Cuong said her client came to the UK at the end of last year to escape the poverty he lived in as a farmer in Vietnam.

She said: “He came here hoping to work in a legal factory. He was unable to find a job and was then taken by a person to the house in question and told to look after the plants.”

Thuc's lawyer, Jonathan Seely, said his client had suffered the same fate.

Judge John Holt said: “You were working in a cannabis factory, a dwelling house that had been professionally set up to grow cannabis and as well as the equipment the electricity bypassed the metre so that the electricity which was considerable in the production could be obtained free.”

The brothers were jailed for two years and a recommendation was made that they be deported on their release.

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