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Harrogate landlord jailed for allowing cannabis farm

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A Harrogate landlord who admitted renting a property to be used as a cannabis farm, has been jailed for three and a half years.

Yoko Banks, a 73-year-old retired guesthouse owner, appeared in Leeds Crown Court alongside six of the gang who had rented the properties.

The court heard she owned a string of properties and had rented three to the gang, expecting to make ‘significant profits’.  She admitted three counts of being concerned in the supply of cannabis.

Visar Sellaj, Kujtim Brahaj, Indrit Brahaj, Bledar Elezaj, Andi Kokaj, and Erblin Elezaj, all admitted charges related to the production and supply of cannabis at one of the properties, a three-storey, five bedroom Edwardian villa in Harrogate.

They were described as a ‘professional gang’ who had invested tens of thousands of pounds into three cannabis factories operated at Banks’ properties.

They were arrested after police were called to a disturbance outside the villa. Inside they found 283 cannabis plants in four growing rooms.

The house had been fitted with high tech equipment which allowed the farm to be run remotely and even for gang  members to watch the police search via a video feed.