Thirty-month suspended sentence for the “gardener’’ of 1,400 cannabis plants
Friday, 13 July 2018
On Wednesday, Walloon Brabant criminal court condemned Henrik T., an Albanian national, homeless in Belgium, born 31 December 1986, to a thirty-month suspended sentence and a fine of 8,000 euros. He will also have to compensate Ores Enterprise up to 16,000 euros. The man had been arrested in December 2016 in a Beauvechain residence during a police raid in search of a cannabis plantation. He was the “gardener,’’ who was taking care of 1,400 plants for the benefit of an international organization.
The neighborhood had blown the whistle after noticing the strange activity of people living there: bringing in compost, flower pots, cables, etc. Cars registered in the Netherlands, notably a four-wheel drive, also came and went frequently, which intrigued the neighbors. During a search of the premises in December 2017, the police came across a cultivation of 1,400 plants in four rooms, stimulated by 21 lamps, aired out by 21 fans and heated by six electric heaters.
An elaborate set-up, which, officially, did not consume any electricity: an intervention done on the Ores meter made it possible for the growers to pay no bills. On the basis of an approximate two-month consumption by the various appliances, Ores estimated the prejudice at approximately 16,000 euros.
At the hearing, the defendant, who had been intercepted at the time of the search, had admitted being the “gardener,’’ hired in Albania to care for the plants (his airfare had been paid by the organization), but also to have helped fiddle with the electrical set-up.