An Exeter tenant who paid six month’s rent in advance plus a deposit has been jailed for 18 months after being convicted of turning his flat into a cannabis factory.
Anisi Hamollari claimed he had been the victim of human trafficking and had been forced by organised criminals to commit the offences against his will. But during his four months in the flat he gutted the interior, causing an estimated £15,000 worth of damage, and installed 97 cannabis plants.
DevonLive reported neighbours complained of strong smells coming from the property. After being put off a number of times, the letting agents gained access, when they discovered what had been going on. Hamollari, an Albanian travelling on false Italian ID, had offered the agents £7,000 to keep quiet.
Instead the agents reported Hamollari to the police. But by the time they arrived at the flat he had gone. He was arrested six months later by West Midlands during a vehicle stop. He had a passenger with him in the car and £8,200 in cash.
At his trial at Exeter Crown Court, Hamollari pleaded guilty to charges related to the production of cannabis and also to knowingly possessing fake Italian identity documentation with improper intent.
He has no previous convictions, but will be deported back to Albania when released.