Chinese man in Laghey drugs factory “didn’t know he was in Ireland”

A Chinese man jailed yesterday didn’t even know which part of the world he was in when growing nearly €1 million of cannabis in Donegal.

Judge John O’Hagan was told of human trafficking by internatonal gangsters driving around in Mercedes while slaves growing cannabis for them lived in squalor,

He was dealing at Donegal Circuit Court with two Chinese men who admitted growng €972,000 worth of cannabis with intent to supply in a warehouse near Trummon, Laghey, near Donegal town, last May 12.

Detective Sgt Barry Doyle, who led the investigation, told the court that Ming Sun, 46, and Xia Hue He, 44, were smuggled into Ireland through Manchester.

A Vietnamese man, described as their boss, confiscated their passports and personal belongings.

The Vietnamese, who worked with an Irish-Indian man, placed them in the converted warehouse in Laghey where they lived in a single room with mattresses to sleep on the floor.

Sgt Doyle didn’t agree with the suggestion of defence counsel Paul Nolan, who represented Ming Sun, that they were held captive as they could have walked out a back door.

But he acknowledged they had no funds and Ming Sun didn’t know where he was. “He didn’t even know he was in Ireland.”

The court heard that the sophisticated operation used poached electricity to grow the plants.

The judge sentenced each man to two years backdated to their arrests on May 12.

With remission, they are likely to be released next June.