Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Satnav pinpoints drugs factories

Police used a suspect's car satellite navigation system to help uncover a Chinese gang's cannabis-growing factories, the High Court has heard.

Officers went to houses in Bangor and Portavogie, after first uncovering a Belfast property where plants valued at £300,000 were being cultivated.

Details emerged as a man accused of a series of related drugs offences was refused bail. Xian Yong Cao (27) faces charges of cultivating cannabis, being concerned in its production, possessing class B drugs with intent to supply and dishonestly using electricity.

He was arrested after police were called out to a property at Nendrum Gardens, Belfast, where they found a cannabis factory |containing up to 1,000 plants, |according to the prosecution. Crown counsel Kate McKay said Cao, of no fixed address, was detained when he got out of a Volvo car at the house and tried to flee.

Mrs McKay said a satellite navigation system taken from the car identified a number of properties believed to be used by the gang.

His defence barrister said his client has been working as a slave after he was brought to the UK.

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