Nguyen rented properties in Perth and turned them into cannabis farms. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A Vietnamese man has been jailed for five years for turning rental properties into cannabis farms in Perth, Australia. Ngoc Tuyen Nguyen had rental properties in seven districts in Perth in 2016 and 2017 which were part of a large-scale drug operation.

Nguyen and his accomplices rented the houses with aliases, converted the houses into marijuana farms and bypassed power meters to poach AU$151,216 (US$109,865) worth of electricity, The West Australian reported.

Last year, authorities found 569 plants in the properties with a potential value of AU$750,000 (US$544,908). Judge Michael Gething slapped Nguyen with a five-year sentence and said his role was integral to the drug operation.

He added that people in the upper echelons of the drug distribution chain would not have been able to conduct such an operation without people like Nguyen.

Nguyen arrived in Australia 11 years ago to study English. His visa had expired for some time. He pleaded guilty to six counts of drug cultivation with intent to sell or supply and three counts of fraudulent use of power.

Nguyen could be deported after his release from jail.

Judge Gething also said criminals put people at risk when they bypassed meter boxes and large-scale cannabis operations in suburban areas posed significant threats to the community.

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