Eamon Zada, 35, outside of court today where he was handed a suspended sentence for having a cannabis oil factory in his Grenfell flat
A Grenfell Tower resident who ran a cannabis oil factory from his flat has escaped jail with a suspended sentence.
Eamon Zada, 35, was caught with butane canisters, cannabis plants, seeds, books on cultivating the plant and wads of cash when police searched his home following a burglary in his flat.
Following the blaze which claimed 72 lives last year, Zada has been put up at a £150-a-night hotel in Marylebone.
Prosecutor Katie Bryan told Westminster Magistrates’ Court: ‘This matter comes to light from a search warrant of the property at the Grenfell Tower – his property was burgled and £4,000 had been taken.
‘On searching his property a number of items were found relating to the production of cannabis.
‘Both rooms were being used for the production of oil and the kitchen was also being used to store the gas canisters, which were believed to be used to heat the cannabis for the oil.’
The police recovered £1,000 in £50 notes which were hidden in the ceiling, mobile phones, books on cannabis cultivation, seeds and other ‘cultivation gear.’
‘The defendant stated that his brother had given him the £1,000 for a holiday,’ Ms Bryan said.
‘In interview he gave no comment but a prepared statement was given. He explained that he had been using cannabis since the age of 12 but no longer got the desired effect from smoking a joint but used the oil as a more effective means.’
Prosecutors accepted he was producing for personal use but Judge Tan Ikram was not convinced.
Zada had previously been jailed for running a cloned credit card factory from the same flat which netted him £1.6 million
‘At the moment I am not at all sure that this is for personal use – you’ve got a ceiling with cash in it, you’ve got gear for cultivation, £50 notes, books for cultivation and even the freezer has got cannabis in it,’ the judge said.
In 2009 Zada was jailed for five years after he set up a high-tech credit card cloning operation from his Grenfell Tower flat which netted him £1.6million.
His front door was fitted with four extra locks and inside he had advanced tech, including a highly sophisticated device which intercepts credit card details from phones.
Zada’s home was raided in 2009 during the height of his credit card scam. Pictured: The Grenfell resident tried to shred credit cards as officers rammed through his front door
Police had to break down his door with battering rams and found Zada throwing credit cards out the window and desperately trying to feed others into shredding machine.
When he was arrested he was wearing a £4,000 Rolex and had an exclusive Vertu phone worth £4,900.
Zada used the fraud proceeds to go on incredible sprees at London’s top restaurants including the Ivy.
He spent £140,000 on champagne in one night alone at the Amika nightclub in Kensington.
Police had to break down his door with battering rams and found Zada throwing credit cards out the window and desperately trying to feed others into shredding machine
Detectives found pictures of him and his friends swigging Cristal Champagne and smoking cigars.
Other pictures showed the conman pouring bubbly on the floor.
Zada had previous convictions for fraud after he and a group of friends went on a £25,000 spending free with cloned cards in Stafford.
When he finished his five year sentence, Zada turned his attentions to the production of potent cannabis oil and the flat was transformed again with butane gas canisters and cannabis processing equipment.
Police seized 14 kilograms of herbal cannabis which would produce 140 days’ worth of the oil. Zada told the police he usually got through five or six grams of the oil every day.
Pictured: A bag of credit cards that Zada chucked out the window when officers stormed his home
The judge said: ‘The process by which this drug is produced as an oil requires butane canisters to be stored in your flat. You had them there for criminal purposes.
‘I am of the view that this offence is so serious that I cannot impose a fine, nor a community penalty.
‘But of course, I also have regard to you and your circumstances – what has happened since does not make this offence any less serious but it does tell me about who you are today.’
Defence lawyer Robert Berg told the judge: ‘He has tried to help his fellow men and women by becoming an active part of the community – he has not turned his back on his neighbours.
‘One cannot imagine that this community of people would take the time to write the letters to the court that they have written if they didn’t feel that this was a person that they need to be part of the community during a very, very hard time.’
There were cheers and clapping from Zada’s supporters in court as the judge passed sentence.
Zada, who is currently residing at the Radisson Hotel in Marylebone, admitted producing a class B drug and was given a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
In addition he will serve 200 hours unpaid work, a 40 day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.