DRUG BUST: Alleged mule has ‘gambling problem’, court hears
AN alleged drug mule who was found carrying more than 28kg of cannabis in the boot of his car allegedly became embroiled in the crime due to his "identified gambling problem", the defence has claimed in court.
During Duc Nguyen's bail application hearing at Coffs Harbour Local Court, the defence said the 34-year-old man had allegedly been offered $3,000 to transport the cannabis from Sydney to Brisbane when he was pulled over by police on the Pacific Hwy at Coffs Harbour on the night of January 6.
According to the police facts on the case, the officers found Mr Nguyen was allegedly in possession of three mobile phones that were receiving a large number of messages when he was pulled over.
During a search of the car police allegedly found the estimated $250,000 worth of cannabis inside three large vacuum seal bags stashed in the boot.
The defence told the court Mr Nguyen allegedly admitted to his role as a courier to police.
He was charged with supplying a prohibited drug greater than commercial quantity, and was remanded in custody at Grafton Correctional Centre.
The defence told the court on Wednesday Mr Nguyen, employed as a contractor, required bail as he was also a full-time carer for his visually impaired mother who was present in the courtroom.
His mother had mortgaged her Sydney house to offer a bail surety of $200,000 for his release, the defence said.
The prosecution however argued they weren't satisfied Mr Nguyen had shown cause for bail.
"He arrived in Australia in 2011 and he's now got himself in what can only be described as an organised crime group," they said.
Magistrate Ian Rodgers said he was satisfied Mr Nguyen had shown cause for conditional bail. Mr Nguyen will be monitored and have restrictions in place on mobile phone usage as part of his bail conditions.
He is listed to appear in court again on March 10.