A chip shop worker who took part in a skunk cannabis farm plot has been ordered to sell his home in Northampton after being stripped of his ill-gotten gains by a judge.
Vietnamese born Lenh Nguyen, aged 48, was one of three men from Northampton who were employed to look after the illegal growing operation, deliver cash and fetch the crop.
He was caught in a van, which he had rented for a trip to Exeter, in Devon, where others had set-up a 328 plant hydroponic unit in an empty warehouse unit.
Nguyen was jailed for four years in December 2011 for his part in the plot and taken back to the same court when the police applied under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize the profits he is thought to have made from his involvement.
Judge Erik Salomonsen ruled that Nguyen had profited by £43,000 and assessed the benefit by this figure and the available amount as £31,500.
James Taghdissian, prosecuting, said police have calculated his available assets as £31,500, including the equity in a house in Northampton which will have to be sold.
Nguyen did not oppose the order.
He was one of a Northampton-based cannabis growing gang who were jailed for a total of eighteen and a half years.
The three Vietnamese men from Northampton and their local contact in Devon were caught after police found a sophisticated growing operation at a disused industrial unit in Exeter.
They were caught with a huge haul of cannabis in a Transit which chip shop worker Lehn Nguyen had hired to take them from Northampton to Devon.
The other two Vietnamese men both had previous convictions for running cannabis farms and a search of their home in Norman Road revealed a huge stock of growing equipment.
There were enough lights and fans to set up 20 growing rooms and a foil lined nursery had been built in the loft but not yet put into use.
The trio recruited a local cleaning company boss in Exeter who secured the keys to the derelict unit where they set up the sophisticated growing operation.
They were caught by chance when a Hertz manager saw two men acting suspiciously near her depot just after Christmas and called the police.
They found the three Vietnamese men parked nearby along with their local contact. They let them all go but then searched the area and found the 328 cannabis plants.
They rounded up the gang as they drove North with more than two kilograms of cannabis and £18,000 cash.
Sophisticated hydroponic growing equipment had been moved into the warehouse in Exeter after Porsche driving local businessman Omer al-Rawe borrowed the keys from an agent to view property with a view to opening a cage fighting gym.
Nguyen, of Great Gull Close, Northampton, Van Pham, aged 48, of Norman Road, Northampton, and Omer al Rawe, aged 31, from Exeter, all denied conspiracy to supply cannabis.
Illegal immigrant Chung Nguyen, aged 31, also of Norman Road, changed his plea during the trial and admitted the same charge. He also admitted his true identity, having previously been charged as Chung Tran, aged 18.
Judge Erik Salomonsen jailed them for a total of more than 18 years. Pham was jailed for five years, Tran for four years six months, al-Rawe and Nguyen for four years each.
Lenh Nguyen claimed to have come to Exeter in the mistaken belief he was helping a friend move furniture. He said he had agreed to do the job for a fee of £200 because it was the same as the weekly wage he earned at a chip shop.