PROSECUTORS will drop proceedings against a Vietnamese man over a claimed £1m cannabis cultivation in Port Glasgow if Home Office chiefs rule him to be a victim of modern day slavery.

Accused man How Van Hoang, 40, has been held in custody since the discovery of the alleged pot farm in the disused Plaza/Gala bingo hall in the town last December.

The Telegraph told in March how it was believed Mr How had been trafficked to Inverclyde by an organised crime gang.

There has since been intense communication between his lawyer Gerry Keenan, the Crown and Home Office officials, but the matter remains unresolved.

Prosecutor Laura Wilcox told the latest calling of the case at Greenock Sheriff Court: "My office has checked this up on numerous occasions and I have various email chains showing this.

"We are trying to get an update from the Home Office."

Fiscal depute Ms Wilcox said that the Home Office had made a 'reasonable grounds' decision but a 'conclusive grounds' ruling was required.

She added: "That is what we're waiting for.

"Once we have confirmation then a decision will be taken by my office as to whether the public interest would be served by continuing with proceedings."

Mr How was arrested at the former bingo hall on the Port's Brown Street.

Community police beat officers on foot patrol stumbled upon the claimed pot farm.

Chief Inspector Paul Cameron estimated the potential value, subject to testing, to be in the region of a million pounds.

Mr How's case was adjourned again in April for the 'specific purpose' of the Home Office 'completing enquiries', defence solicitor Mr Keenan told the court.

Mr Keenan added: "Unfortunately these enquiries have not been concluded and until the matter is resolved it would appear that a trial diet cannot be fixed."

Fiscal depute Ms Wilcox said she had 'encountered similar problems' with such cases at another court.

She added: "But in more recent times we have had more conclusive grounds decisions filtering through."

Sheriff Joseph Hughes said: "A continued diet is merited in this instance given the nature of what has been discussed."

The matter is due to call again today (MON).

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases.

"The government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery and ensuring that victims are provided with the support they need to rebuild their lives.

"Potential victims of modern slavery can be referred to the national referral mechanism to ensure they receive the appropriate support."