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Fourth person charged in relation to Ballybofey cannabis factory

Court

A JUDGE has refused a bail application by a Malaysian man who admitted “fixing” equipment used in a huge cannabis growing factory which was discovered above a Chinese restaurant in Ballybofey during the week.

Ching Ann Low (32) appeared before Letterkenny District Court this morning (Friday) where he was charged in relation to the discovery of the plants with an estimated street value of €360,000, during a search at a premises on Navenny Street last Tuesday night.

At Thursday’s sitting of the court, Judge Paul Kelly refused bail and remanded three Asian women, including Low’s wife and mother-in-law, in custody.

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At today’s hearing, Seargent Niall Boyle said Low lived in the upstairs apartment where the illegal plants were grown.

He said Gardai were “strenously” opposing any bail application due to the value of the drugs, the seriousness of the charges and the nature and strength of the evidence against Low.

Also objecting to bail, Inspector Goretti Sheridan said Low had “no legal immigration status” and had travelled here in October 2012, via Heathrow Airport in London, before catching a flight to Belfast before crossing the border into Donegal.

Defence solicitor Mr Frank Dorrian argued that Low was not a flight risk as he was “immobile” due to Gardai being in posession of his passport.

However, Inspector Sheridan said she feared Low would make his way back across the border and “disappear” if he was released.

Mr Dorrian replied that he had told his defendant that he had made a similar arguement for his wife the previous day and that she had been refused bail “on identical grounds.”

Judge Kelly refused Mr Dorrian’s application saying be believed Low would be a flight risk if granted bail.

He remanded him in custody to appear via video link from prison at Monday’s sitting of the court.

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