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16 April 2016, 11:25
A cannabis grower has been jailed following the discovery of a £2.8 million drugs factory in Dartford.
Pham Tuan, 28, of no fixed address, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday. Once he finishes his sentence he will be deported back to Vietnam
Tuan pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of a class B drug at the same hearing, in addition to other charges brought by Merseyside Police in connection with a second factory in Liverpool.
Kent Police officers discovered more than 6,000 plants at various stages of growth inside a derelict building in West Hill, Dartford, in August 2013.
Experts estimated that the cannabis had a potential street value of £2.8 million but that this figure could be up to three times higher with previous crops taken into account.
Extensive ventilation systems had been fitted throughout the property and there was also evidence of illegal electricity abstraction.
Officers also discovered a notebook containing reference to watering and compost, which was forensically linked to Tuan.
In November 2015 Merseyside Police notified investigators from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate that Tuan had been arrested and charged following the discovery of another suspected cannabis factory in Liverpool. He was then subsequently charged with the Dartford offence.
Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Richard Spicer said: "Pham Tuan was a key player in a major drug supply operation, and stripping down a cannabis factory of that size would have undoubtedly made a big impact on the county’s drug network.
"Tuan may have felt like he had got away with it but his arrest should serve as a warning to others that no unsolved case is ever truly closed, and that if you break the law your crimes will catch up with you in the end.
"We have a zero tolerance approach to drugs and I am pleased Tuan will never again be able to grow cannabis plants within the UK"