Alleged cucumber kingpin’s kill threat
A BRISBANE cucumber farmer-turned-alleged mastermind of a $40 million cannabis operation has threatened to kill witnesses, a court has heard.
Khanh Nhat Bui, 42, a father-of-four from Inala, is alleged to be a Vietnamese drug kingpin running a large-scale cannabis-trafficking ring with 18 members in Brisbane for almost four years.
Details of the prosecution case against Bui were revealed in documents filed in the Supreme Court last week during a hearing where his lawyers successfully applied for his release on bail on a $100,000 surety, after a week behind bars on remand.
Bui has been charged with one count of trafficking in cannabis, with an aggravated circumstance of serious organised crime, which means that if convicted, he faces a mandatory seven-year prison term and a maximum of 25 years in jail.
He has been in custody since November 4, when police added another five counts of producing drugs related to the six cannabis grow-houses Bui is alleged to have run, including one next door to his cucumber farm, the court heard.
The police officer who is heading the investigation unsuccessfully argued that Bui should not be freed on bail because Bui was a risk to the safety of witnesses.
Detective Sergeant Terry Fergusson, from the firearms and cannabis team within the drug and serious crime group of the QPS, told the Supreme Court in a statement that a witness who has provided a statement against Bui is "gravely concerned" that Bui "will kill them or their family".
"The witnesses stated it is well known within the Vietnamese community that the accused is not a person to give evidence against, as the accused has previously threatened to kill persons who turn against him," Sgt Fergusson told the court.
He said Bui had been convicted of possession of a knife in a public place in the Richlands Magistrates Court on October 22 last year
Sgt Fergusson submitted that if Bui were granted bail, he would "flee Australia", and "once in Vietnam", he "would prove difficult to locate".
Bui's $100,000 bail surety was posted by a woman with a modest net-worth, Thuy Phuong Thi Dang, a farmhand from Richlands, court documents show. Bui has not entered a plea to the charges and is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on December 6.