TWO men arrested when the police busted a big Bradford cannabis factory say they were trafficked into the UK and forced to work there.
Vietnamese nationals, Tuan Pham and Kien Truong, were apprehended at the address in Hollingwood Lane, near to the junction of Croydon Road in Great Horton, on June 9.
Pham, 30, and Truong, also 30, both of Hollingwood Lane, appeared before Bradford Crown Court today on a video link to Leeds Prison where they are being held on remand.
The men, who are jointly charged with production of cannabis at 17, Hollingwood Lane, were assisted by a Vietnamese interpreter.
Glenn Parsons, Pham’s barrister, said there was very little information about the defendants and he asked Judge Colin Burn to refer their cases to the Home Office to investigate if they had been trafficked.
“Mr Pham says he is a Vietnamese national and he was brought to this country under threat and sufferance in order to pay back debts in Vietnam,” Mr Parsons told the court.
John Bottomley, solicitor advocate for Truong, said he too wanted the case referring to the authorities.
The court was told that the investigation must be completed within 45 days.
A two day trial was fixed for March 22 next year, with a review of the case on August 25.
Judge Burn remanded the men back into custody, telling them the result of the trafficking review would impact on whether the trial date was maintained.