£35million cannabis empire crashes down
Uncle and nephew jailed for huge drugs network
Two men who oversaw a cannabis farm network across the Midlands - netting them a multi-million pound fortune - are now behind bars after West Midlands Police brought their drugs empire to an immediate halt.
Nirmal and Darryl Saund posed as respected businessmen - operating out of a Birmingham company called The Cayman Group - to strike rental deals on industrial units and residential addresses in Northamptonshire, Herefordshire, Leicester and Shropshire.
But having secured leases, the pair kitted out the premises with sophisticated hydroponics equipment and employed members of the Vietnamese community to act as live-in growers.
Between September 2012 and June last year, when they were arrested by West Midlands Police, it’s estimated they had netted around £35million in drugs profits.
West Midlands Police coordinated a major investigation into the family following cannabis factory finds by police forces across the Midlands.
Detectives ran surveillance operations on some sites, uncovered aliases used by the drugs barons created using fake passports and utility bills, and uncovered bank accounts used to stash drugs cash having followed Vietnamese ‘staff’ on bank runs.
And crucially, through sophisticated high-tech checks, they were able to trace the group to their headquarters in Baltimore Road, Handsworth Wood.
Nirmal Saund, 51, from Skip Lane in Walsall, admitted conspiracy to supply drugs whilst 31-year-old Darryl, from Foxcote Drive in Shirley, denied being involved but was found guilty after a trial.
At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday 18th February, both men were jailed - for 10 years and six months, and nine years respectively.
In total, six members of the Vietnamese community were also arrested from cannabis farms run by the Saunds, some of whom went on to be jailed.