Restaurant boss faces jail for drugs offences
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