Illegal immigrant jailed over large-scale cannabis factory found in east Ipswich house

Inside the cannabis factory in Powling Road which Shefget Marku tended

Inside the cannabis factory in Powling Road which Shefget Marku tended - Credit: Archant

An illegal immigrant who was found in an Ipswich house which had been turned into a cannabis factory has been jailed for eight months.

Shefget Marku

Shefget Marku - Credit: Archant

Police officers who forced their way into a house in Powling Road on November 25 found that every room in the property, apart from the kitchen, had been given over to growing cannabis, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The rooms were covered floor to ceiling with plastic sheeting and there were also a number of heat lamps and ventilation pipes, said Gareth Hughes, prosecuting.

A total of 180 cannabis plants and 216 seedlings, with a potential wholesale value of £30,000, were seized by officers.

Shefget Marku was the only occupant of the house and he told officers he had entered the UK illegally five months earlier in the back of a lorry.

The 38-year-old said the people who brought him into the country from Albania told him he would be doing maintenance work and had dropped him off at the house in Powling Road.

He said he was told he owed £6,500 for his passage to the UK and was told to feed and water the plants at the Powling Road address.

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He said he was given £200 a month to feed himself and he hadn’t run away because he had nowhere else to go.

Marku admitted production of cannabis and was jailed for eight months.

Charles Falk, for Marku, said his client had been cynically exploited by people more criminally aware than him.

After his arrest Marku said he had come to England from Albania so he could earn money to send back to his family.

Marku had been living in the kitchen of the house in Powling Road where his bed and a television were discovered.