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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Police hunt for cannabis factory suspect

THIS is the man police want to speak to in connection with the discovery of a £1m abandoned cannabis factory.

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FEI CHEN

Fei Chen is no longer believed to be in the area but the illegal Chinese immigrant is still thought to be in the UK.

Detectives say he is their number one suspect.

A member of the public came across the abandoned cannabis factory on February 2 when they went to view a building on Abbey Road, Barrow, next door to DS Fitness.

Police were called and discovered more than 1,000 dying plants with a street value of £1m.

Crime scene officers spent the following day dismantling the factory and combing the area for clues.

An expert drafted in from outside the force described the drug factory as one of the most advanced he had ever seen.

Detective Sergeant John Carton, head of the Targeting Unit said: “We still haven’t made any arrests in connection with this factory at this time.

“The main person of interest we are seeking to arrest, Fei Chen, is not local to Cumbria and is an illegal Chinese immigrant that we believe has left the area.

“The state in which the factory was discovered, literally just abandoned, suggests that something caused the gang just to down tools and leave.”

He said his last known address was in Dale Street, Manchester.

Chen is still on the Crimestoppers Most Wanted website.

He is described as Asian, aged between 30 and 35, approximately 5ft 4in, has a stocky build and his hair is dark brown with ginger. His accent is said to be Chinese, Japanese or South East Asian.

This was the third cannabis farm found in Barrow in the last four years.

In 2007, six people were jailed for a total of 14 years after they were found guilty of being involved in cannabis farms in Holbeck and Rawlinson Street in Barrow.

The ringleader Anh Tieu Trieu used a town centre nail bar on Cavendish Street as a front for her illegal drugs empire.

In 2009 four people were sentenced to a total of 12-and-a-half years for a £1.2m money laundering operation involving Chinese takeaways in Barrow, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Linshu Che, the businesswoman behind the Wonder Wok takeaway in Howe Street, Barrow, was sent down for three years.

If you can help police track down Mr Chen call DS Carton on 0845 330 0247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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