Man jailed over Koco Bongo drugs bust

Koco Bongo on Westgate
Koco Bongo on Westgate

A man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for his role in producing cannabis that was found in a Wakefield city centre nightclub.

Koco Bongo at the top of Westgate was raided earlier this year during a busy Saturday night and dozens of cannabis plants were recovered.

Neil Hudson was jailed

Neil Hudson was jailed

Fifty-year-old Neil Hudson, of Kingfisher Drive, Barnsley, appeared at Leeds Crown Court last week for his part in the production of the drug and handed the custodial sentence.

Officers sprung the surprise raid using sniffer dogs to help locate the plants, which were found in the top floor of the building.

The police seized over 40 mature plants that was estimated to have a street value of more than £40,000, along with growing equipment, including fans and lighting.

The police said a quantity of the drug was also found cropped and was being dried out in preparation to be sold.

They said it had caused a strong smell of cannabis in the area around the building that had been brought to their attention by the public.

The bar, which was part of Wakefield’s popular night time drinking economy, had its licence suspended days later.

A review was conducted into the future of the nightclub bar and the decision was taken by Wakefield Council’s licensing committee in April to strip the premises of its licence permanently.

Inspector Richard Clare of Wakefield District Police said at the time: “Wakefield city centre is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy a night time meal or drink. We and partners at Wakefield Council work closely to manage the licensing of venues, bars and clubs operating within the city.

“Our licensing officer applied for the premises licence of this venue to be suspended very quickly after cannabis was discovered there and we are pleased a full revocation has now been granted.”

The building, which was once Yorkshire Penny Bank, has stood empty since the raid.