10:10 AM, 23rd January 2012, About 12 years ago 10
Police are warning landlords that crime gangs are looking for rental homes to turn into cannabis factories.
A clear trend is emerging as drug barons turn away from growing cannabis in bulk at single locations.
The latest criminal intelligence reveals the drug dealers are favouring turning buy to let homes in to small factories to decrease the risk of police seizing their crops in a single raid.
Instead, the gangs are renting buy to let homes all over the country and moving in one or two ‘farmers’ to look after the crops.
Many of the buy to let cannabis farms are set up by gangs from the Far East who fit properties out with sophisticated heating, lighting and watering systems.
The latest conviction was Vietnamese illegal immigrant Son Ngoc, who was tending 300 cannabis plants in a rented home in Livingston, Scotland.
The farm was discovered when the landlord turned up to check the property. Police were called and arrested Ngoc.
The 21-year-old was jailed for two years and eight months at Livingstone Sheriff Court on Thursday after admitting involvement in supplying the drug. The court was told the plants would have produced around 14 kilogrammes of cannabis valued at up to £75,000.
A few days ago, police arrested two Vietnamese teenagers looking after cannabis plants worth an estimated £150,000 in a four-bedroom detached buy to let home in Barnalby le Beck, North East Lincolnshire.
In another case a few days ago, Tuyen Vu, 38, and Minh Luong, 21, were jailed for growing cannabis at a rented house in Harrow, North London.
Police raided the home and found the rooms packed out with cannabis plants.
Vu was jailed for 24 months and Luong received 20 months at Harrow Crown Court.
Police say the tell tale signs of a cannabis farm are the smell, condensation on the windows and blacked out rooms even in the daytime.
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