Immigrant locked up after cannabis haul

EXPLOITATION by a drugs gang has led to an illegal immigrant being behind bars today for tending an Ipswich cannabis factory.

Colin Adwent

EXPLOITATION by a drugs gang has led to an illegal immigrant being behind bars today for tending an Ipswich cannabis factory.

Police estimate the 841 plants Tony Quoc was caring for at a rented property in Lister Road could have netted as much as �3million in a year.

Sentencing Quoc - who originally claimed to be aged 16, although the court accepted he was at least 18 - Judge Anthony Bate said: “Your accepted role was merely to water and feed those tender growing plants for a modest reward, said by you to be �70. You acted on the instructions of some shadowy figure higher up the dishonest chain of command.”


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Before Quoc was sent to a young offenders' institution for 12 months, he asked to be deported back to Vietnam on completion of his sentence.

His lawyer Chris Paxton said: “He is a vulnerable young man, exploited by others at great risk to himself. Frankly he is desperate to be deported.”

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Prosecutor Peter Gair had earlier told Ipswich Crown Court police had raided the property in Lister Road at 9am on December 4 last year.

The house had been adapted to create the conditions needed to grow cannabis.

Mr Gair said Pc Andrew Moore had calculated nearly 6,000 ounces could be grown which could conceivably have meant an annual yield of three harvests being worth as much as �3m.

The court heard Quoc admitted to being an illegal immigrant and said he was brought to Ipswich about a month before the raid by someone called David.

He was given �70, told to stay in the house in Lister Road and feed the plants.

Mr Paxton, mitigating, said he disputed the value police put on the prospective annual yield.

He added Quoc, who has no family, was not a victim of people trafficking, but his case came close to that.

He came to this country via various routes, being turned out at an unknown destination after spending a couple of days in the back of a lorry,” Mr Paxton said.

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