Restau­rant boss faces jail for drugs of­fences

North Wales Weekly News - - NEWS - BY TOM DAVID­SON tom.david­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @Week­lyNewsBay

ARESTAU­RANT owner is fac­ing 14 years in jail after a court heard he had more than £320,000 worth of cannabis grow­ing above a take­away shop.

Tim Chan, from Jade Gar­den restau­rant in Llan­dudno Junc­tion rented the four-bed­room prop­erty in Perthshire, Scot­land above a Chi­nese take­away.

But when it was raided by Scot­tish po­lice they dis­cov­ered a mas­sive cannabis farm there with nearly 700 plants inside.

Chan, 58, was re­manded in cus­tody at Perth Sher­iff Court after a sher­iff warned him that he could face up to 14 years in prison for his part in the largescale op­er­a­tion.

The busi­ness­man ad­mit­ted know­ingly per­mit­ting the premises in At­hole Street, Coupar An­gus, to be used for the cul­ti­va­tion of cannabis be­tween 27 Novem­ber and 16 De­cem­ber 2012.

The court was told that the huge farm was dis­cov­ered when a floor layer was sent round to mea­sure up the prop­erty for lam­i­nate floor­ing and alerted the flat owner.

When Chan was con­fronted with in­for­ma­tion that the cannabis farm had been dis­cov­ered he said: “It just needs another two weeks to grow and it will be ready.”

The aroma from the plants was so strong that it could be iden­ti­fied in the street and had a po­ten­tial street value of £323,000 pounds.

Fis­cal de­pute (pros­e­cu­tor) Lisa Mar­shall told the court that the owner of the flat rented it and the business premises to Chan so he could op­er­ate a Chi­nese take­away and sub-let the flat to an il­le­gal im­mi­grant and gang mem­ber Yan Ping He who cul­ti­vated the plants.

When the farm was dis­cov­ered, Chan’s own daugh­ter Re­becca said she would re­port him to the po­lice if he did not re­move it within a week.

Mrs Mar­shall said: “He trav­elled up from (North) Wales and made it clear to her that she could not re­port it to the po­lice. The ac­cused told her the plants only needed two more weeks.”

It was re­ported to po­lice and when they ar­rived they saw Ping He, through the win­dow, talk­ing on his mo­bile phone. He es­caped out of a win­dow but was later ar­rested, con­victed and jailed for two years and three months.

Ev­ery room in the house had been turned over to pro­duc­ing cannabis and nearly 2,000 pots and tubs were re­cov­ered along with a bath full of chem­i­cals.

Solic­i­tor David Sinclair, de­fend­ing, told the court that his client was “naive” and could be given a sen­tence which avoided him be­ing sent to cus­tody be­cause of the “un­usual” role he played.

He said Chan had been un­aware ini­tially that his ten­ant had turned the flat into a full-scale drugs fac­tory and claimed he was mak­ing no money from his part in the op­er­a­tion.

Mr Sinclair said: “He made a deal with the devil here. We are deal­ing with a high-scale op­er­a­tion here. He can­not shy away from that.”

Chan was re­manded in cus­tody pend­ing the prepa­ra­tion of back­ground re­ports.

Ping He, 26, had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted cul­ti­vat­ing nearly 700 plants and was jailed for 27 months.

Tim Chan is led from court and (in­set) the Jade Gar­den restau­rant in Llan­dudno Junc­tion

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