London, Oct 18: An elderly British couple, who ran a cannabis business but spent a major part of their 400,000-pound (about $646,000) fortune on helping poor African families and charities, has been jailed.
Michael Foster, 62, and Susan Cooper, 63, made a whopping 400,000 pounds (about $646,000) by illegally growing hundreds of plants at their farmhouse home in six years. But instead of pocketing the money, the couple spent a large proportion of it on people in a Kenyan village, Daily Mail reported.
Both were regular visitors to the village in the Kwale district, near the tourist coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya. They used their earnings to pay for life-saving surgery, computers for a hospital and schooling for the village’s poor children, the court heard.
When the pair, from Lincolnshire county, were not helping villagers, they would live an incredible double life selling wholesale kilo deals of cannabis to a local drugs baron.
In 2004, Foster and Cooper converted two buildings on their farm in Lincolnshire, into a cannabis factory, where they grew hundreds of illegal plants and sold kilos of the drug to a local dealer.
Police came to learn about the couple by accident when an officer smelled the cannabis in their house while pursuing a burglar nearby. It found 159 cannabis plants, worth an estimated 20,000 pounds. Two of the buildings had been converted into a growing room and drying room.
Foster and Cooper told police much of the money they illegally obtained was spent helping the local people they met.
While sentencing the couple, Judge Sean Morris said: “You were growing it on a significant scale, jetting off to Kenya on it. Lots of money was going into your bank accounts, over a number of years hundreds of thousands went in.”
“I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money, whether that was to appease your consciences I can only speculate.”
The couple was jailed for three years at Lincoln Crown Court.