Sunday 20 October 2019

Migrants jailed over €1.8m drug growhouse

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Stock image

Isabel Hayes

Two Vietnamese men who were smuggled into Ireland to work in a cannabis grow house containing nearly €1.8m of drugs have been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

One of the men travelled to Ireland in a shipping container and thought he would be working on a farm, while the other thought he would be working as a chef, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court previously heard.

Ngog Toan Vu (54) and Thang Nguen Van (46) each pleaded guilty to one count of cultivating cannabis without a licence at a warehouse unit in Ballymount Drive, Dublin, on May 10 last year.

Their sentence was adjourned last December to allow for investigations to continue as to whether they were the victims of human traffickers.

Yesterday, James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, told the court the investigation had concluded that neither man was a victim of human trafficking.

However, Judge Martin Nolan said he considered both Vu and Van to be "desperate men".

"They seem to have had no rights and they were preyed upon, probably by their own," the judge said.

"Their moral culpability is low.

"They had little or no option but to participate in this crime."

Judge Nolan said he had no doubt both men knew what they were doing was wrong and he noted the value of the drugs was extremely high.

He handed down a two-and-a-half year sentence and backdated it to last May, when both men were taken into custody.

Because both men are illegal, they will most likely be deported after their release from custody.

Irish Independent

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