TWO Albanian men who claimed they were forced by gangsters to work at a Barry cannabis factory have been jailed.

Ervis Truni, 20, and Migen Dragjoshi, 31, were arrested after drugs squad officers raided a house on Dock View Road on May 27.

Lowri Wynn Morgan, prosecuting, said police found nearly 200 cannabis plants and a “sophisticated” operation capable of producing a crop of £390,000 a year.


Cardiff Crown Court heard how the defendants had arrived in the UK illegally and might be modern slavey victims exploited by criminals.

Truni told detectives he fled his homeland in fear of his life because of a blood feud with another family in his village.

He alleged a grenade had been thrown into his bedroom in Albania.

Miss Wynn Morgan said: “This was a cannabis factory on a commercial scale.

“It was a sophisticated set-up which had cost a substantial amount of money.”

She told how Dragjoshi had told the police after his arrest: “I came to the UK after I met a group of men in France.

“They said they would give me work in Britain and my life would improve.

“I arrived in a lorry at the cost of £15,000.

“At first, I worked at a car wash and a building site before I was forced to come to Barry.

“They said they would kill me and my family back home in Albania if I didn’t do what they said.

“I was beaten when I told them I couldn’t do it.”

He also has a wife back home who has just been diagnosed with cancer and elderly parents who he would like to care for.

Truni, represented by Hilary Roberts, said he arrived in the UK last November and lived in London initially before he was forced to come to Barry.

He said: “They (gangsters) held a sword to my throat and threatened to kill me.”

The defendants, both of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to producing cannabis.

They were men of previous good character with no convictions recorded against them.

Owen Williams, for Dragjoshi, asked the court to take into account his client’s early guilty plea.

The judge, Recorder Mark Cotter QC, jailed the defendants for 24 weeks each and ordered them to pay a £128 surcharge after their release from prison.