A VIETNAMESE boat refugee, who fled his country in 1986, was yesterday granted bail over a $1.25 million drug stash police found near Holbrook.
Ngoc-Dinh Nguyen, 51, of Footscray, has been in custody since May after being charged with drug possession and supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
Police say five bags of “ice” were found in a car travelling south on the Hume Highway about 5.35pm on May 24.
It is alleged that Nguyen was involved in a criminal enterprise with Ho Pham, 47, of Sunshine.
But magistrate Tony Murray said in Albury Local Court yesterday that he regarded the case against Nguyen as being weak.
Solicitor Michael Mantaj said the co-accused was driving Nguyen’s vehicle. He said Pham had taken possession of a backpack containing drugs and there was no inference Nguyen was involved.
Nguyen agreed to provide a sample for DNA testing and Mr Mantaj said he would surrender his Australian passport to police.
Nguyen’s wife and two nephews were in court for his bail application.
One of the nephews provided $20,000 cash as part of the bail conditions imposed by Mr Murray for Nguyen’s release.
Director of Public Prosecutions representative Rennae Gee opposed bail, saying the supply charge carried a maximum of life imprisonment.
Ms Gee said Nguyen was the owner of a vehicle which was driven to a Sydney location and he saw a transaction where a backpack was exchanged for money.
She said presumptive tests on the drug showed it was methylamphetamine.
Mr Murray said there was no forensic link between Nguyen and the drug packaging or bag.
Nguyen was released on $20,000 bail with a similar cash surety.
The charges against him were adjourned until next week while he lives at an Albury motel.
Mr Mantaj said a suitable place for him to live in NSW was being arranged.
Nguyen has a 6pm to 7am curfew and cannot contact his co-accused.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.