Cumbria Crack
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Arrests made in on-going investigation into cannabis supply and human trafficking

[P]OLICE have uncovered a major network of cannabis factories as part of an on-going investigation into alleged drug supply and human trafficking in the north west of England.

Following community intelligence a warrant was executed at an address on Roe Greave Road, Oswaldtwistle in February where a large number of cannabis plants valued in the region of £80,000 were recovered.

Further enquiries identified an address in Bootle, Merseyside and on March 20th police raided a house on Webster Avenue. Five Vietnamese nationals were arrested and items linked to cannabis production and fraudulent documentation recovered.

Police also recovered a 16-year-old Vietnamese girl from the address who had been missing from the Milton Keynes area since 2016 and she is now being safeguarded.

A further nine properties in Merseyside and Greater Manchester were also raided and further evidence of cannabis production recovered.

On Tuesday a further two people, a man and a woman, were arrested after officers stopped a car travelling on the M6 in Cumbria. A holdall containing £75,000 cash was recovered from the vehicle.

A total of nine people have now been charged in connection with the investigation – codenamed Operation Renard.

Detective Sgt Stu Peall, of Lancashire Police’s Human Trafficking Team, said: “While we have made a number of arrests this investigation is very much on-going and will now continue in conjunction with other North West forces to target a group that is bringing misery to a number of vulnerable people.

“I would like to thank colleagues in Cumbria, Merseyside and Greater Manchester for their fantastic support so far in this fast moving and complex investigation.”

Nine people have been charged and will appear at Preston Crown Court on April 23rd. They are:

  1. Hoi Nguyen, 39 years, Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  2. Giap Nguyen, 31 years, NFA. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  3. Huy Nguyen, (no age given) Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  4. Khai Tran, 36 years, Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  5. Thuong Vu (female), 24 years, Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  6. Duoc Tran, 22 years, Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  7. Jack Nguyen, 19 years, Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis and money laundering
  8. Thanh Nguyen (female), (no age given) Webster Avenue, Merseyside. Conspiracy to produce cannabis
  9. Thang Nguyen, 66, NFA. Conspiracy to produce cannabis and money laundering.

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