Tayside and Central Scotland

Man jailed for cannabis farm above Chinese takeaway

A Coupar Angus restaurant owner has been jailed for four years after a cannabis farm was found in the flat above his Chinese takeaway.

Tim Chan claimed he had rented the four bedroom flat to students and was unaware it contained 700 cannabis plants with a street value of £320,000.

However a sheriff at Perth Sheriff Court concluded Chan, 58, "knew full well" the operation was ongoing.

A man who admitted growing the plants was earlier jailed for 27 months.

When Chan's daughter accidentally discovered the huge haul of plants, he warned her not to go to the police until the plants were ready to be harvested.

However officers were called in when a floor layer went to measure up the flat for laminate flooring and alerted its owner.

Police found every room in the house had been turned over to the production of cannabis, with the bathtub full of chemicals and nearly 2,000 pots and tubs recovered.

The smell from the plants was so strong it could be identified in the street.

'Significant operation'

The in-house gardener, Yan Ping He, escaped out of a window when police raided the property but was later traced and jailed for two years and three months.

Chan rented the property above the Athole Street restaurant, and admitted knowingly permitting it to be used for the cultivation of cannabis between 27 November and 16 December 2012.

Solicitor David Sinclair, defending, said his client was "naive" and had not suspected the "students" he rented the flat to were a professional drugs gang.

He said: "He made a deal with the devil here. We are dealing with a high-scale operation here - he cannot shy away from that."

Jailing Chan for four years, Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said: "This is serious stuff.

"You knew full well there was a cannabis cultivation operation ongoing. You would be aware the operation was a significant one. This was not an operation run on a shoestring.

"Once you became aware of it you actively encouraged others to avoid contacting the authorities to enable the harvesting to take place. The sentence is well merited."

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