Four charges in regional illegal immigration investigation

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Four people have been charged in connection with an investigation into suspected illegal immigration and cannabis production.

A team of police officers carried out dawn raids at addresses in Blackburn, Bolton and Darwen yesterday (Tuesday 10 December) – arresting two men and four women. 

The action, codenamed ‘Operation Canvas’ is looking at the alleged employment of Vietnamese nationals, believed to have entered the country illegally.  

Searches also took place at four nail bars in connection with the investigation.  These are at the following locations: Blackburn Road in Bolton, Church Street in Blackburn, Higher Church Street in Blackburn and Railway Road, Blackburn.

Previous enquiries linked to the investigation have identified evidence of cannabis production at properties in Tottington, Billington, Turton and Walsall.

Four people have now each been charged with conspiracy to produce cannabis, four counts of assisting in unlawful immigration, and possession of a false identification document with improper intention.

They are:

  • Van Dang, 48, of Harwood Street, Darwen
  • Thi Ho, 34, of Harwood Street, Darwen
  • Cam Thi Ho, 29, of Sunnymere Drive, Darwen
  • Hoai Mai Coffey, 35, of Dormer Street, Bolton

They are due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court this morning (Wednesday 11 December).

A woman, aged 41 and man aged 57, arrested on suspicion of money laundering have been bailed pending further enquiries until 8 January 2020.

Two people have previously been arrested and charged in connection with Op Canvas.

Oa Dong Ho, 24, of Sunnymere Drive, Darwen and Thuy Nguyen, 54, of Harwood Street, Darwen have been charged with conspiracy to produce cannabis. Oa Dong Ho has been remanded in custody and Nguyen has been bailed.

We welcome community intelligence and would ask that if you are aware of any suspicious activity in your area that you please get in touch.

Anyone with information or concerns should call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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