Man awaits £500,000 drug factory fate

A VIETNAMESE man is today awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to growing cannabis with a street value of around half a million pounds at his rented home.

Tom Potter

A VIETNAMESE man is today awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to growing cannabis with a street value of around half a million pounds at his rented home.

Vui Van Nguyen, 28, admitted at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday to growing an estimated £500,000 worth of the drug in Beatty Road, Ipswich.

Nguyen, dressed in a cream sports top and casual trousers, spoke through an interpreter at the hearing.

He is to be held in custody until a crown court hearing is arranged to sentence him.

Magistrates heard that when police raided the semi-detached house they found 304 mature plants which were just weeks away from being ready for harvest.

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Nguyen was arrested on Wednesday after plainclothes police conducted the raid following intelligence that cannabis plants were being grown.

In five rooms of the house were hundreds of plants. All the windows were covered and the rooms which contained the plants were fully ventilated and brightly illuminated with high-powered lighting.

An increasing number of cannabis factories has been uncovered in Suffolk - 19 were found in 2007, compared to 14 in 2006 and 13 in 2005. Each time more than ten plants were found on the premises.

Last year a gang which ran a string of cannabis factories in Ipswich was jailed for a total of 14 years after its illegal business was uncovered.

Vietnamese nationals Anh Hai Bui, his sister Ha Phu Bui, Phuong Thi Vu, Tham Thi Hoang and Tranh Tran were involved in growing as much as £1.5million of cannabis at houses in Clarkson Street, London Road and Norwich Road.

Although Ha Phu Bui was not convicted of growing the cannabis, she was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of making money from the crime and jailed for four years.

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