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Weed stinks on Old Castle Road

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Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.42.54A VIETNAMESE gang built a cannabis factory in the centre of Llanelli that was so powerful people could smell the drugs as they walked passed.

Inside 83 Old Castle Road illegal immigrant Son Nguyen was cultivating cannabis plants capable of producing drugs with a street value of £180,000—every three months.

But a tip off to the local police brought a sudden end to the venture and a 12 month prison sentence for 26 year old Nguyen.

Brian Simpson, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how officers executed a search warrant at the end of terrace house on January 28.

They spotted Nguyen climbing out of a window but he gave up his escape bid and returned inside.

Officers found the property had been turned into a “sophisticated” cannabis factory and 223 plants were growing in three rooms.

More than 40 powerful lamps had been installed along with other expensive equipment and the electricity meter had been bypassed so as not to reveal how much power was being used.

Mr Simpson said the plants were capable of producing crops of up to 18 kilos of cannabis with a street value of between £62,000 and £180,000.

After his arrest Nguyen said he had been living in China and had been smuggled into the United Kingdom via France and in the back of a lorry.

He said he was quickly approached by a man he did not know and offered a job “watering some plants.”

Nguyen’s barrister, Robin Rouch, said he had been promised a better life in the UK but that had not materialised.

The process of deporting Nguyen, he added, was already underway.

Nguyen had admitted being concerned in the production of a controlled drug.

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Man ‘fit for work’ collapses and dies at job centre

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A 65-YEAR-OLD man has collapsed while waiting for an appointment in a job centre in south Wales. He was found slumped in his chair at 9.30am on Friday in Llanelli.

The DWP said: “Our thoughts and those of the staff at Llanelli Jobcentre are with the family and friends at this time.”

The Llanelli Herald understands that he was waiting for an appointment to discuss Jobseeker’s Allowance after being declared fit for work earlier this year.

Staff and customers rushed to help, but they were unable to get a response so lay him on the floor.

They started CPR and an ambulance was called while the job centre was evacuated, but paramedics declared him dead at the scene. A witness told The Metro newspaper: “I didn’t know him myself, but the man who was sat next to me told me that he had grown up with the guy.

“The man next to me told me that the poor guy had diabetes and had been declared fit for work by the job centre earlier in the year but he was obviously ill.

“The ambulance came but he sadly died and they had to take his body out of the job centre, it was awful.

“We were all very shook up; it was a horrible situation that should have never happened. The job centre is all shut down now.’

The Welsh Ambulance Service confirmed to The Herald: “We were called on Friday November 15 at approximately 9.33am to reports of a person needing urgent medical attention on Stepney Street in central Llanelli. ‘We responded with one rapid response vehicle, one specialised medical vehicle and one emergency ambulance.’

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£100k funding boosts local food production

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LOCAL AM, Lee Waters has announced £100,000 of funding for a project to transform local food production and boost the economy across Carmarthenshire.

The project by Carmarthenshire Public Service Board will provide business opportunities for locally or regionally-based companies and bring environmental benefits by lowering food miles and associated carbon costs. It has been funded as part of a £4.6m package to boost the foundational economy.

The foundational economy approach is being adopted by cities and regions across the world, but Wales is the first country in the world to embrace it on a national scale. The foundational economy is made up of the everyday goods and services we all need and use with estimates suggesting it accounts for four out of every 10 jobs and £1 in every three we spend.

Lee Waters, who is also the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport in the Welsh Government, said,

“I came into politics and Government with the aim of helping the communities where I grew up and those like them.

“Supporting the Foundational Economy is a key way to do this. This is a vitally important part of the economy which makes a big difference to the livelihoods of many people as well as our cities, towns and villages.”

The announcement was made alongside the First Minister Mark Drakeford at an event at University of Wales Trinity St David.

Another project to be awarded funding is being led by Cyfle Building Skills Ltd. It will receive £86,500 to work with construction employers and provide opportunities for apprentices to receive valuable work experience placements throughout the industry in Carmarthenshire.

Lee Waters added “It’s been great to join the First Minister in Carmarthen to learn more about what it potentially a very exciting project and one which will change the way food is procured locally for the benefit of area’s communities.

“The Foundational Economy Challenge Fund is a clear demonstration of our commitment to supporting people in all parts of Wales today, tomorrow and into the future.”

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15 charges following clamp-down on quad bike thefts

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A MAN has admitted 15 offences including Burglaries and thefts of quad bikes following a police clamp-down.

Jeffrey Wayne Bevan, aged 50 of Swansea, appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, November 15, where he pleaded guilty to all the offences including five counts of burglary, four counts of theft of vehicles, one count of criminal damage, and one theft from a vehicle.

Bevan was arrested following a number of enquiries by Dyfed-Powys Police, which culminated in a substantial quantity of stolen property being recovered during searches carried out in the South Wales Police area.

Detective Inspector Andrew Cotterell said: “The Carmarthenshire division was hit by a spate of thefts overnight on October 28, with farms being targeted.

“Tools and a horse box were reported as stolen from four properties, and suspicious activity was reported at two others during the night.

“Because of the number of reports, we started looking for connections between the offences, and Rural Crime Team PCSO Helen Fender was instrumental in identifying linked offences. This resulted in a targeted operation being expedited, and suspects from the South Wales Police area being considered.”

Bevan and one other male was arrested and a number of properties searched in the Swansea area. They were arrested on November 13 and Bevan charged to appear at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court. He will next appear at Swansea Crown Court on November 29.

A second man was released on bail pending further enquiries.

DI Cotterell said: “The theft of quad bikes and other equipment has a huge impact on the farming community, and we are doing all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“We are actively targeting these offenders, while also working with the farming community to disrupt criminal activity of this kind.”

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