‘Gangsters trafficked me to grow cannabis after £300m gambling debt,’ trial hears

Nam Nguyen, of no fixed abode, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court charged with one count of cultivating 272 cannabis plants on October 9 last year in Abingdon.

With the help of a Vietnamese interpreter, the 37-year-old told a jury on Thursday (April 11) that he had got himself in £300m in debt while living in his hometown of Nghe An.

READ MORE: Porsche driver GUILTY of injuring woman and boy in crash flees country

He said that gangsters proposed to bring him to the UK to work for them and pay off his debt. However, he claimed he did not know the work would be growing cannabis.

The Crown Prosecution Service believe Nguyen has fabricated the story.

Giving evidence from the stand, Nguyen said he was first brought to the UK by the gangsters in 2020 and was placed in a house in Leeds.

He said he was ordered to water the cannabis plants which he did for about two months before he was arrested.

“They threatened me,” he said. “They said would kill me. They threatened me that I would have to work or they would beat me up.”

He claimed when he was arrested, the courts deemed he was a victim of human trafficking and released him with a ‘ticket’ for social accommodation but he ‘couldn’t find it’.

READ MORE: WATCH: Cops left baffled by crow which mimics police siren

“I went wandering,” he said. “I tried to look for work in restaurants but there wasn’t any.”

He claims he then moved to London where he found work but in 2023, but while out buying a bottle of water, he was taken by the same gangsters who brought him to the UK.

“The gangsters from 2020 put me in a vehicle,” he said. “They forced me to get in. They threatened me.

“I was scared and they threatened me.”

When asked how he understood the gangsters as he speaks little English, Nguyen said: “They made gestures and kept punching their body so I knew.”

He said he was taken to a property in Abingdon and forced to water the plants.

He claimed he slept in a corner with ‘smelly bedding’ and was too scared to attempt to flee or call the police.

When asked if he was fabricating the story, he said: “No I’m saying what it was.” [sic]

READ MORE: Teen with ‘interest in knives’ avoids jail after threatening man with blade

The court heard that police waited outside the property for 30 hours from October 8 last year before arresting Nguyen.

When asked why he didn’t seek police help, he said: “I was too scared, I don’t know the language.”

The trial continues.

Latest news
Related news