AN ALBANIAN criminal was caught by police after they were tipped off that people were being forced to work as slaves at a cannabis factory.

Drilon Kucana was arrested when he badly injured himself jumping out of a window at a house on Newport’s Chepstow Road in a failed escape attempt.

The three-storey property had been converted into a “professionally set up” cannabis farm, prosecutor Claire Pickthall said.

She told Cardiff Crown Court: “On December 7, 2018, the police received a call to say that people were being held captive at a cannabis cultivation operation.


“Officers attended and when they arrived, the defendant jumped from a rear window and seriously injured his leg.”

Miss Pickthall said Kucana, an Albanian who was deported as an illegal immigrant from the UK in 2014, was taken to hospital to be treated.

After 12 days and undergoing surgery, he discharged himself and went on the run before he was recently picked up by police in London.

Miss Pickthall told the court there were 330 plants at the cannabis factory which had a potential yield of £24,000.

Kucana, 32, admitted production of the class B drug.

He had one previous conviction for dishonesty.

Colin McCarraher, mitigating, said: “It is often forgotten that for those serving time in a foreign prison, it is an extra hard time for that person.”

His barrister asked for his client to be given full credit for his early guilty plea.

Judge Daniel Williams jailed Kucana for six months and ordered him to pay a £115 surcharge.

A co-defendant, Hakik Lala, 47, also of no fixed abode, was jailed for six months in November 2018 for his role in the criminal enterprise.