A Chinese man allegedly involved in the running of six large-scale cannabis factories in Belfast and Down is either guilty or “one of the unluckiest men in the world”, a lawyer declared.
The Belfast Crown Court jury of six men and six women heard that 29-year-old Sheng Lee can be linked to the “inter-related” properties by fingerprints, DNA and tenancy agreements.
Lee, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry prison, denies six charges of cultivating cannabis in six different properties, five of causing criminal damage to houses and four of dishonestly using electricity on diverse dates between January 25, 2009 and February 3 last year.
Opening the case against him, prosecuting lawyer Ian Tannahill told the court that to the outside world, the residencies had the appearance of “nice houses” but that inside they had been transformed into cannabis factories.
In each of the houses, which comprised three in Belfast and one each in Bangor, Downpatrick and Comber, officers uncovered plant growing material and equipment including heat lamps, extraction fans and fertiliser.
The trial continues.