AN ALLEGED victim of human trafficking was discovered in Helensburgh town centre after police found a cannabis farm containing plants with an estimated street value of £80,000.

As part of a UK-wide operation, Helensburgh officers were contacted by Sussex Police Force after their enquiries identified an address in Buchanan Road which may be linked to criminal activity.

Other properties throughout the country had also been flagged up for police to attend and carry out welfare checks.

READ MORE: Class A drugs seized in raids on three Helensburgh homes

On Tuesday, September 24, Helensburgh police attended the home in Buchanan Road and uncovered an alleged cannabis farm on the top floor.

Following immediate enquiries, two Vietnamese males, aged 48 and 20, were arrested in the town centre and taken to Clydebank police station for interviews, after which the 48-year-old man was charged with allegedly being concerned in the production of a controlled drug and the alleged theft of electricity.

He appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court and was remanded in custody.

Police say the 20-year-old man was not charged with any criminal offence but was transferred to accommodation after informing officers that he had been the victim of human trafficking.

READ MORE: Helensburgh man in drug supply charge after raid on house

Officers added that a “conservative estimate” of the street value of the seized plants is £80,000.

The latest discovery of an alleged trafficking victim comes after police discovered two teenage victims of trafficking in raids on a Helensburgh shop two years ago.

Those victims were found during visits by police and immigration authorities to Nail Art on the corner of Sinclair Street and East Clyde Street in May and September of 2017.

READ MORE: Second trafficked teen found by police at Helensburgh business after raids by authorities

Human rights charity Amnesty International was a leading voice in the campaign for legislation on human trafficking in Scotland, with a dedicated bill eventually introduced in 2014.

Naomi McAuliffe, the charity’s Scotland programme director, said: “We hope that Police Scotland will carry out a robust investigation into the detained man’s claim that he had been a victim of human trafficking.

“Although such cases are relatively rare in Scotland, it is important that such allegations are taken seriously.”

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