‘Children trafficked to make cannabis’

Vietnamese children are being trafficked into the UK to work in houses producing cannabis, it has been claimed.

This has already happened in Newham, east London, said the borough’s head of services for children, young people and families, Jenny Dibsdall, last week.

She made the comments at the National Social Services Conference, after a police raid in Newham where a Vietnamese teenager, believed to be aged 15 or 16, was found.

And this week, Essex Council said it was looking after a Vietnamese girl aged 16 or 17 following a police raid on a cannabis house in Southend.

While the scale of the problem is not yet known, Bill Bolloten, a refugee education and training consultant, said he believed a number of Vietnamese children were entering the UK unaccompanied and then “disappearing” into criminal gangs.

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