herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Man charged for role in €62k drug grow house case

A VIETNAMESE man has been charged with growing cannabis following the seizure by gardai of up to €62,000 worth of the drug.

Kham Nguyen Tu (61), was brought before Blanchardstown District Court following the haul in Celbridge, Co Kildare on Wednesday.

His arrest follows the uncovering of an alleged cannabis "grow house" in the town.

Mr Tu was remanded in custody for the directions of the DPP to be made available, after no bail application was made on his behalf.

Cultivation

Mr Tu, with an address at Crodaun Forest Park, Celbridge, is charged with one count of cultivating cannabis plants without a licence at that address on September 3 last.

The charge is under Section 17 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977.

Garda Patrick O'Leary of Leixlip Station told the court he arrested the defendant at Crodaun Forest Park on Wednesday afternoon.

He was brought to Leixlip and he made no reply when charged after caution at the garda station later that evening.

Garda O'Leary said the defendant was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

The garda sought an adjournment to obtain the directions of the DPP.

Mr Tu's solicitor said the accused had good English and did not require an interpreter for the purpose of yesterday's proceedings.

He said there was no application for bail at this time.

Judge David McHugh said he was satisfied that there was "no procedural deficit" in the hearing taking place without a translator being present to assist the accused.

He acknowledged that Mr Tu had good "working English."

However, he certified for a Vietnamese interpreter to in court on the next occasion.

The judge also granted free legal aid.

He remanded the defendant in custody, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on September 11.

The defendant did not address the court during the brief hearing and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge.

Nobody else was arrested in connection with Wednesday's search and seizure.

According to gardai, the street value of the cannabis plants seized following the search is up to an estimated €62,000, subject to analysis.

The search was carried out by officers from Leixlip and Kilcock, assisting gardai from Celbridge.

OFFENCE

Gardai said one man was arrested at the scene and was detained under the provisions of Section 2 of The Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.

Anyone found guilty of cannabis cultivation can be fined on conviction and sentenced to up to a year by the district court and 14 years on indictment by the circuit court.

The law states that it is an offence for anyone to "cultivate opium poppy or any plant of the genus Cannabis except under and in accordance with a licence issued in that behalf by the Minister."

hnews@herald.ie

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