Pictured: Besmir Sula, locked up for 15 months after being caught running a cannabis factory
An Albanian illegal immigrant, who paid £4,000 to be smuggled into the UK and helped run a cannabis factory, has been locked up for 15 months.
Besmir Sula was put to work in the cannabis factory of gangsters he paid to enter the UK after initially being intercepted by British authorities.
Mr Sula was initially held at a detention centre after entering the UK in a raft organised by people-smugglers in October last year.
He was then moved to a Home Office-run hotel, where he was given a phone to allow him to communicate with his family.
Sula was subsequently contacted by the man in his village who he had borrowed the money from to finance his illicit boat trip and was told he had to pay off the debt.
The 19-year-old was collected from the hotel and driven to a disused building between the rural villages of Cranbrook and Hawkhurst in Kent.
Upon arrival, he was effectively ‘sealed’ inside the property to act as a gardener for the 500 plants.
He had been there for roughly two months when police discovered the operation on December 29 last year.
His sentencing hearing at Maidstone Crown Court Kent found ‘significant quantities’ of cannabis, which was adjudged to be ‘for commercial use with a significant financial advantage’.
Sula pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and appeared in the dock assisted by an interpreter.
His barrister, John FitzGerald, said the teenager, who has no previous convictions, had been a victim of ‘organised gangs who exploit people into believing our streets are paved with gold’.
‘He is from a village in Albania – very rural, very small and very poor.He earnt 300 euros a month working all night in a baker’s and took the view he wanted a better life,’ Mr FitzGerald stated, according to Ferrari Press Agency.
‘He borrowed 4,500 euros from a man in Albania to travel to the UK illegally.He got in a boat with others he had never met and arranged by the sort of organised gangs who exploit people into believing our streets are paved with gold.
‘He was picked up from the hotel and taken to this rural spot, in the middle of nowhere, Buy Ether Runtz and to this disused building.’
Mr FitzGerald said Sula was ‘young, naive’ and a ‘victim of modern-day slavery’.
Pictured: migrants arriving in Dover this week were helped onboard the RNLI Dover Lifeboat after a small boat incident in the Channel
Police said the former commercial premises had all of its doors and windows boarded up, Gary Payton Strain apart from a small one on the top floor.
He jumped through the window with a 16-year-old boy once police arrived, but the pair were were found in a neighbouring garden.