Man in court over £100k drug factory

Man in court over £100k drug factory

A man has been remanded in custody charged over the discovery of a cannabis factory containing more than £100,000 worth of plants.

Sheng Gao was arrested by police who raided the sophisticated operation set up at a house in east Belfast last week.

Detectives believe the Templemore Avenue property had been empty for some time before being broken into and the factory set up.

Gao, 36, of Richview Street, Belfast, appeared before the city's Magistrates' Court on charges of cultivating cannabis and burglary with intent to cause damage to the house. The alleged offences were committed on or before 22 July, when the haul of drugs was uncovered.

Gao, a non-British citizen, is further charged with overstaying his leave to remain in the UK and possessing articles for use in fraud - namely a counterfeit identity card.

He nodded to confirm he understood the allegations when they were translated for him. A detective involved in the investigation told the court he could connect the accused to the charges.

Gao's lawyer did not put any questions to the officer or seek bail during Tuesday's hearing.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear again by video link on 27 August.


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