A woman used fake passports and pretended she was a fashion designer to rent out properties across the West Midlands which were then used to run a £1 million cannabis racket, a court heard.
Quyphi Harris used fake names and made up a career to landlords in a bid to encourage them to rent out their properties, a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Mr Jonathan Cox, prosecuting, said the 36-year-old and accomplices would then turn the properties into cannabis factories, some of which housed hundreds of plants.
Two of the properties were in Smethwick and another one was in Bearwood. There were also cannabis factories at properties in Sheldon, Erdington, Solihull, Handsworth, Bordsley Green and Small Heath.
Mr Cox said: “She played an organisational role amongst a group of individuals in the large scale production of cannabis growing, which were harvested and supplied to others.” He told the court Harris would rent out the property, and then a group of usually Vietnamese illegal immigrants would move in and work as gardeners.
Mr Cox said the business had potential profits of £1 million a year.
He said that a property on Upper St Mary’s Road in Bearwood, which was raided by police on July 17, was found to have 288 cannabis plants which would produce 13kg of cannabis each crop.
The factory had a potential annual yield worth £180,000. The police also found evidence of a cannabis factory at a property on Gilbert Way, in Smethwick.
Mr Cox said: “We say that a passport has been copied to create a number of fake identities for the purpose of renting a number of different properties.” He said that Harris would use fake names. At one property she said her name was Sandy, at another she was Nora, at a third she used Victoria. On a number of occasions she told the landlords she was a fashion designer.
The court heard Harris was arrested at a property on Dunsford Road in Smethwick along with four other people. In the house there were 121 cannabis stalks drying in the loft, and three bags of cannabis in a box, in addition to 25 cannabis saplings. The police found two memory sticks in her handbag holding utility bills and letters addressed to different people, as well as copies of the passport documents with different names.
He told the court that in interview Harris denies any knowledge of the cannabis and said she was visiting someone she knew from London.
Harris of Charring Cross Road, Westminster, denies a charge of conspiracy to produce cannabis along with others between January 2012 and May 2013.
Her trial continues.