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InvisibleMostly_HarmlessM
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Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] * 1
    #24545720 - 08/11/17 12:05 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/11/three-men-jailed-cannabis-factory-nuclear-bunker

Quote:

11 August 2017

Anti-trafficking organisations express disappointment after slavery charges against trio were dropped


Police were tipped off by dog walkers who noticed a strange smell near the underground bunker.


Three men have been jailed for their part in running a vast underground cannabis farm in a former nuclear bunker in Wiltshire, staffed by young Vietnamese workers who were held in slave-like conditions.

As the sentences were announced, anti-trafficking organisations said they were concerned that slavery charges against the three had been dropped despite investigators’ certainty that four Vietnamese men were discovered locked inside the site with no access to keys.

Martin Fillery, 45, Ross Winter, 30 and Plamen Nguyen, 27, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to produce class B drugs and abstracting electricity to power the cannabis factory in 20 of the 40 rooms of a decommissioned Ministry of Defence bunker, RGHQ Chilmark. Fillery was sentenced to eight years and Winter and Nguyen were each sentenced to five.

The farm was understood to be capable of producing £2m of cannabis every year. Police estimate that £650,000 of electricity was siphoned off illegally from a nearby electricity pylon to power hundreds of lights and fans.

Det Insp Paul Franklin, who helped uncover the bunker, said he was clear that the Vietnamese men working there were enslaved and extremely scared. “It was slavery,” he said in an interview this week. “There’s no doubt. They weren’t there by choice. They were trafficked from Vietnam, they were placed there and told to work.”


Inside the nuclear bunker.

The two-floor subterranean warren of rooms was built in the 1980s to protect government officials in the event of a nuclear attack. It was decommissioned and sold in the 1990s after the end of the cold war. Fillery leased the bunker in 2013, living there initially and using it to store television memorabilia – including a large number of Daleks – before transforming it into a cannabis farm.

Police were tipped off about the factory by dog walkers who noticed a strange smell in the remote area of countryside near the underground bunker. They mounted a surveillance operation and arrested Fillery, Winter and Nguyen when they arrived by van in the middle of the night.

Two young Vietnamese men, thought to be teenagers, and a Vietnamese man in his 30s were found inside the bunker, locked behind a five-inch door that was strong enough to withstand a nuclear explosion. A fourth young Vietnamese man was found the following day, wandering the lanes near the rural Wiltshire village of Tisbury. Police believe he had managed to escape by cutting his way through a metal ventilation tunnel in the roof.

The court heard that police found 4,400 plants, of which 643kg had to be incinerated. Detectives believe the site had been operating since 2013, gradually increasing in size as more rooms were converted for cultivation.

Professional electricians were brought in to wire up an illegal connection to the mains supply and a borehole was drilled to pipe in fresh water.


Inspecting electrical work in the bunker.

Fillery and Winter arrived during the night most weeks to bring in supplies for the workers and take away harvested crops. Their visits lasted from several minutes to seven hours, during which time they kept both the bunker door and the outer gates locked.


A police officer enters the bunker.

It was not clear how long the Vietnamese men had been held there, working in the tropical temperatures necessary for the plants to grow with no natural daylight, and with limited fresh air. Food and water supplies to last weeks were stored in the bunker’s kitchen.

The men slept on mattresses on the floor of the bunker’s sickbay. The court heard that the diverted electricity created a significant fire risk, which was particularly dangerous given the men were locked in.

The Vietnamese men, who spoke no English, were told by police that they were being considered as victims and could be assigned to the national referral mechanism, the framework for identifying victims of human trafficking, under which they were eligible for 45 days of secure, sheltered accommodation and legal advice. However, all four men declined the offer and refused to say anything. Three were subsequently deported for immigration offences and the fourth has claimed asylum.

Franklin said it was difficult to prosecute people for slavery without the cooperation of the victims.

“We told them they were victims, we offered them a way out and we asked them to make statements. They all refused. Police have a real difficulty penetrating the Vietnamese community,” he said.

It was possible that traffickers knew where they lived and had made threats against family members. “If that’s in the back of your mind, when you’re thousands of miles away, it is probably easier to say nothing.”

Franklin said it was a shame the slavery charges had to be dropped on the advice of the CPS, which said the case would fail without the evidence of the victims. “We could prove that they were locked in. We had the key to get in, but we didn’t find any keys on them. They were certainly locked in but that’s not enough to get it convicted beyond all reasonable doubt,” he said.

This week the National Crime Agency said modern slavery and human trafficking was happening on a “shocking” scale, with potentially tens of thousands of victims in the UK – far more prevalent than previously thought.

Kevin Hyland, the UK’s anti-slavery commissioner, appointed by Theresa May, has repeatedly said police are failing to investigate enough such cases. He expressed disappointment at the failure to tackle the issue of Vietnamese teenagers being trafficked to the UK to work in cannabis farms. Vietnam was consistently one of the biggest source countries for slave labour trafficked into the UK, but there had never been a successful prosecution of a trafficker from Vietnam, Hyland said.


Living conditions inside the bunker.

Efforts to prosecute for slavery were complicated by the fact that one of the Vietnamese men was apparently able to flee through the ventilation hatch. Police could see a metal bar had been cut but were unable to prove the bar had been cut after the raid.

The man was found carrying more than £1,000, raising questions about whether he and the other men had been paid, or whether he knew where money was kept on the site.

The judge Keith Cutler, sentencing at Salisbury crown court, concluded that the “evidence was unclear on whether there was compulsion or not”.

Det Insp Simon Pope, who led the later stages of the investigation, said in an interview this week: “These people are in fear. I think that this is a general problem – not just in this case.” The four men were released without charge but police immediately contacted immigration officials and they were arrested for immigration offences.

“I would have really liked to have attempted to get a prosecution under the modern-day slavery offences because they were being exploited. This is becoming more and more common – these cannabis factories, with gardeners held in poor conditions, given little to no pay.”

Chloe Setter, the head of policy at Ecpat UK, which supports child and teenage trafficking victims, said the charity was disappointed at the failure to pursue slavery charges.

“It is extremely concerning that modern slavery charges were dropped in this case, when there was clearly reason for the police to believe that several people were being exploited,” she said. “It appears those thought to have been victims of a major organised criminal network potentially making millions from their exploitation have received little to no support, and the risk of retrafficking barely considered.”




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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Mostly_Harmless]
    #24545735 - 08/11/17 12:14 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

:badmanthisfeels:

Human trafficking is about as low as you can get... I wonder what the full story here is :strokebeard:


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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: musiclover420]
    #24545793 - 08/11/17 12:40 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

See? These guys smoked marijuana and it turned them into human trafficking energy thieves. 

Seriously though, if they really did keep those men as slaves, they need to get wayy more time. At least half of the rest of their lives.


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InvisibleXLCaps
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Mostly_Harmless]
    #24545807 - 08/11/17 12:49 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Tipped off by dog walkers... "Hello!? 911?? I smell WEEED, man!" :whattefuck2:


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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Eminence]
    #24545808 - 08/11/17 12:49 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

I wonder if they were at least getting them high everyday lol :tongue:


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Bryan339]
    #24545850 - 08/11/17 01:11 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

Bryan339 said:
I wonder if they were at least getting them high everyday lol :tongue:




As much as I love getting stoned can you imagine the paranoi that being high trapped in an underground bunker could cause?

Especially if you don't even speak English very well and have no idea where the hell you are...

It would be even worse assuming the traffickers threatened their families which was the explanation the article gave for none of them wanting to talk.

:eek:

Sounds like a nightmare to me.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

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I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



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OfflineKonyap
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Bryan339]
    #24545853 - 08/11/17 01:13 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

politicians worried about adults
every person that emmigrates has to go through some form of "slavery" it's always been like that for immigrants, there's always a way out after several years maybe they can vote but it's only slavery when they can't own land or vote

how much work do you think these people were doing? between harvest probably nothing
which is why they didn't rat
people making clothes and shoes in their home countries have it way worse
I probably work harder then these dudes in a week then they do all year


I've yet to stop hearing about their child sex rings infamous in the religous and political spheres
but we have to worry about some grown ass men who aren't even supposed to be here in the first place
where else would they go or get a job from?


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Konyap]
    #24545878 - 08/11/17 01:21 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

Konyap said:
politicians worried about adults
every person that emmigrates has to go through some form of "slavery" it's always been like that for immigrants, there's always a way out after several years maybe they can vote but it's only slavery when they can't own land or vote

how much work do you think these people were doing? between harvest probably nothing
which is why they didn't rat
people making clothes and shoes in their home countries have it way worse
I probably work harder then these dudes in a week then they do all year


I've yet to stop hearing about their child sex rings infamous in the religous and political spheres
but we have to worry about some grown ass men who aren't even supposed to be here in the first place
where else would they go or get a job from?




Reminds me of a great episode of Tripping the Rift:

In it the main character is paid plants a monolith on a developing world of tribal aliens, the monolith is actually the base of an evil dictator who enslaves the tribals. After the main characters crew gives him a bunch of shit he alerts the galactic government which comes in and takes over. But the funny part is the government just instills a different kind of slavery as everyone is assigned to a job and forced to pay debts for pills and all sorts of "modern conveniences".

Really great show, lots of social satire. That episode is one of my favorites as it shows how western ideology corrupts more in touch native cultures and isn't much of a step of from slavery in many cases. Debt and "jobs" is pretty much a form of modern slavery. It's arguably more humane at least, in some cases.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

I've got all and more, My smile, just as before. Is all that I carry with me

I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



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Invisibleellomello
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: musiclover420] * 1
    #24545946 - 08/11/17 01:51 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Obviously not 'slaves' if one of them escaped threw the roof during raid, and i would totally live there for free.


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PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN get back to the garden

some came singing, some come to play, some come for keeping the dark away


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: ellomello]
    #24545990 - 08/11/17 02:11 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

ellomello said:
Obviously not 'slaves' if one of them escaped threw the roof during raid, and i would totally live there for free.




How does that mean they weren't slaves? For all we know they had been locked down there for years and that one dude found a way to escape eventually.

Also not sure if they said he escaped during the raid or not.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

I've got all and more, My smile, just as before. Is all that I carry with me

I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



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Invisibleellomello
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: musiclover420]
    #24546067 - 08/11/17 02:54 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

Two young Vietnamese men, thought to be teenagers, and a Vietnamese man in his 30s were found inside the bunker, locked behind a five-inch door that was strong enough to withstand a nuclear explosion. A fourth young Vietnamese man was found the following day, wandering the lanes near the rural Wiltshire village of Tisbury. Police believe he had managed to escape by cutting his way through a metal ventilation tunnel in the roof.





He was found wondering around the next day, so yes they could get out.. but being forieners with no where togo..
that is a type of slavery i suppose, but iam in that same slave boat myself, trapped by excessive legal problems.


--------------------
PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN get back to the garden

some came singing, some come to play, some come for keeping the dark away


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: ellomello]
    #24546083 - 08/11/17 03:03 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

They found him the next day but he could have broken out before the raid.

He had to cut his way through a metal ventilation shaft so it's not like they were supposed to get out.

You would think they all would have escaped if it was that simple.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

I've got all and more, My smile, just as before. Is all that I carry with me

I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



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OfflineMorel Guy
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: musiclover420]
    #24546181 - 08/11/17 03:53 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

I highly doubt the guys charged and convicted are the real kingpins of the op.

It would costs a shit load of money for the bunker and grow gear.


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: Morel Guy]
    #24546248 - 08/11/17 04:17 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

Morel Guy said:
I highly doubt the guys charged and convicted are the real kingpins of the op.

It would costs a shit load of money for the bunker and grow gear.




Well one guy aparrently lived in the bunker for awhile prior.

They also slowly set up more of the rooms of the bunker. It said 20/40 were used for the grow but it could have started with just a few or even one. You could be right though, someone could have funded them for a big chunk of the profits.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

I've got all and more, My smile, just as before. Is all that I carry with me

I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



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Invisibleellomello
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: musiclover420]
    #24546361 - 08/11/17 05:09 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Ok maybe if they were being held there as slaves, it is part of a much larger trafficking operation.


--------------------
PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN get back to the garden

some came singing, some come to play, some come for keeping the dark away


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Onlinemusiclover420
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Re: Three men jailed for running cannabis factory in ex-nuclear bunker [UK] [Re: ellomello]
    #24546379 - 08/11/17 05:18 PM (1 month, 10 days ago)

Quote:

ellomello said:
Ok maybe if they were being held there as slaves, it is part of a much larger trafficking operation.




I think a likely explanation is one of them had black market ties and figured they would buy a few workers or something.


--------------------
Don't worry about me, I've got all that I need. And I'm singing my song to the sky

You know how it feels, With the breeze of the sun in your eyes. Not minding that time's passing by

I've got all and more, My smile, just as before. Is all that I carry with me

I talk to myself, I need nobody else. I'm lost and I'm mine, yes I'm free



Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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