Words by Erdington Local editorial team / Pics supplied by National Crime Agency
Four people have been convicted after an Erdington stash house was raided by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers, who found 130 kilos of cannabis, 600 ecstasy tablets, and £30,000 cash.
Alongside the drugs found the haul, thousands of pounds worth of cash was also discovered secreted in the walls of the residential home.
During a surveillance operation in January 2021, NCA officers followed Bui Tuan, 26, to the Chester Road semi-detached property. Pulling up in a BMW, Tuan was seen carrying a laundry bag into the house, which had been rented by Vien Phan Hoang, 37.
Inside the Chester Road property, search teams recovered more than 130 kilos of cannabis, some of which was vacuum packed in bags ready to go. The rest was hidden inside the walls of the loft.
A further 600 ecstasy tablets and around £30,000 cash were also found, along with two kilos of a white crystalline powder later identified as ketamine.
Some of the cash was found hidden in a bush, while other bundles had been thrown into a neighbouring garden. The three men and a woman were later charged.
In March 2023, Tuan and Tran, who was tried in his absence, were cleared of drug supply offences but found guilty of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court.
They were both give six month suspended sentences. A bench warrant has been issued for Tran’s arrest. Hoang was sentenced to eight years in prison. The Judge said he played a significant role and was involved in large scale drug dealing whose motive was financial gain.
The details of the court case were only revealed by the NCA in August this year, when Huong finally received a six month prison sentence – suspended for six months.
NCA senior investigating officer Paul Boniface said: “This gang ran a stash house for a wider network of criminals – a location where drugs were stored before being pushed out to street dealers and sold, with cash moving in the opposite direction.
“Our investigation led to the seizure of drugs worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, profits from which would have fuelled further criminality and exploitation had we not taken action.
“The NCA and our partners are determined to do all we can to protect the public from serious and organised crime.”