England

Men jailed for cannabis 'empire' across the Midlands

Three men have been jailed for running a cannabis production "empire" from industrial units and residential homes.

Brothers Nirmal and Darryl Saund rented premises in Leicester, Herefordshire, Northamptonshire and Shropshire and hired Cuong Pham to liaise with "live in" growers.

Police said they made about £20m a year between September 2012 and last June.

Nirmal Saund was jailed for 10 years, Darryl was given a nine-year sentence and Pham was jailed for six years.

Following the sentencing, West Midlands Police said the men had used the money to fund "luxury cars, expensive homes and a high-end lifestyle".

'Hoodwinked'

"This lifestyle was, unsurprisingly, not reflected in their declared income to the Inland Revenue," said Det Sgt Jamie Mason.

"They based their operation behind what appeared to be a legitimate business… and posed as credible businessmen, acting with confidence and professionalism when meeting the many letting agents they managed to hoodwink.

"They cloned several alter egos and invented fictitious businesses which they registered at Company's House to reinforce their appearance as genuine business clients."

Nirmal Saund, 51, from Skip Lane, Walsall, admitted conspiring to produce cannabis in October.

His brother, 31, from Foxcote Drive, Shirley, and Pham, 29, from Rookery Road, Handsworth, were found guilty of cannabis production at Stafford Crown Court last week.

They were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court earlier.

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