Vietnamese trio helped grow half-a-million pounds of cannabis in Falkirk
Three Vietnamese offenders cultivated 650 cannabis plants worth almost £500,000 after renting premises from unsuspecting landlords in the Falkirk area.
Thi Dang (45), Nam Van Trang (20) and Hoang Van Trang (34) were arrested following a police raid at a house in Windsor Road, Falkirk, which resulted in the seizure of over 650 cannabis plants and a further 400 seedlings growling under lights and “large fans” in a sealed-off back bedroom and the attic, and in an airing cupboard.
On Wednesday Falkirk Sheriff Court heard the plants would have yielded up to £419,200 worth of “high value” cannabis and the cultivation was part of “a very large machine” probably linked to organised crime.
The court heard the cultivation equipment found in the semi-detached rented house last September was valued at £10,000.
Police were led to the property, not far from a primary school, while searching for Dang, who had been questioned six months earlier when a gas engineer called at a property she had rented in Dennyloanhead and found half-grown cannabis plants with a potential value of up to £19,500 in the boiler cupboard.
Dang claimed she had been trafficked, and was taken to the charity Migrant Help in Paisley, from where she subsequently absconded.
Acting on information received she might be at the house in Windsor Road, police raided it and found her in charge of the much larger cultivation.
Dang, Nam Van Trang, and Hoang Van Trang all admitted cultivating cannabis at the properties in Windsor Road, Falkirk and Bankhead Crescent, Dennyloanhead, last year.
Dang also admitted being concerned in the supply of the controlled drug.
Mike Lowry, defending Hoang Van Trang, said his client had left Vietnam in 2006 and come to the UK via Russia.
Mr Lowry said: “He is a very small wheel in a very large machine.”
The court heard Dang had previously been a prostitute, while Nam Van Trang, it was claimed, had been working as a cannabis gardener in exchange for accommodation.
Sheriff John Mundy jailed Dang for 45 months, and Nam Van Trang and Hoang Van Trang for three years each.
He said: “The court has to pass sentences which deter or attempt to deter this sort of offence.”
He added: “All the accused could be deported, but that’s not a matter for me.”