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Suspect arrested after search at cannabis farm in south Shropshire

By Lucy Todman | South Shropshire | Crime | Published:

Police have uncovered a cannabis farm in south Shropshire.

They arrested a man as part of a wider operation targeting organised crime groups suspected of involvement of the trafficking of women for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

The man, who is in his 30s, was arrested after a warrant was executed on a property in Downton-on-the-Rock on Wednesday.

He is currently in custody.

The operation began when National Crime Agency investigators arrested 43-year-old Feng Xu at his home address in Holliday Street, Birmingham on Tuesday.

Feng Xu is alleged to have used multiple false identities to source hundreds of different properties for a number of criminal networks.

They are thought to have been engaged in the exploitation of trafficked women across the UK, as well as other properties used for cannabis farming.

Following Xu’s arrest co-ordinated action took place to target a number of properties allegedly connected to him.

Addresses in Ludlow, Birmingham, Uxbridge, Bristol, Northamptonshire, Manchester, Gloucestershire and Berkshire were among those visited by the NCA, police and Immigration Enforcement.

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The searches led to documents and computers being recovered for analysis, and approximately £87,000 in cash being seized.

Five Chinese nationals were arrested for immigration offences and now face removal from the UK. They were handed over to Immigration Enforcement.

Xu was charged with 12 offences under the Identity Documents Act, Fraud Act, Misuse of Drugs Act and Proceeds of Crime Act.

He appeared at Birmingham Magistrates yesterday where he was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on June 14 at Birmingham Crown Court.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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