Not a very merry Christmas

A SYDNEY man charged with supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs has had his bail revoked at court in Albury yesterday.

“I wish to spend time with my family at Christmas,” Mai Dinh Quang To said to magistrate Tony Murray after being told there was a presumption against bail for having a pre-cursor capable of making drugs worth $7 million.

Director of Public Prosecutions representative Andrew Hanshaw indicated two weeks ago an intention to seek a bail review.

To, 29, of Eagle Vale, was given the opportunity to get a solicitor and applied for legal aid.

It was refused and he has appealed against the refusal, but had to represent himself for the review of bail.

Mr Murray was told in tendered police documents that To and Jimmy Cuong Lieu, 32, of Hinchinbrook, had a connection with a Melbourne-based drug syndicate.

The syndicate mastermind’s fingerprint was found on a bag inside the car carrying Lieu and To.

An Australian Federal Police operation targeting the syndicate led to the mastermind trying to flee Australia.

He was detained while trying to get to Canada.

Police stopped a speeding car carrying Lieu and To about 11pm on August 15 at Mullengandra about 35 kilometres north of Albury.

Officers found 70 kilograms of white powder in the car and it was submitted for forensic analysis.

The testing confirmed it was ephedrine, a pre-cursor used to produce amphetamine like speed and methamphetamine.

Mr Murray said a brief of evidence was still being prepared but police documents indicated Lieu and To travelled on a flight together to Melbourne and that police found four mobile phones in their car, with one having a connection to the syndicate.

The court heard a text message had been sent from a phone to a syndicate connection after police pulled over their car.

To was remanded in custody and five charges against him were adjourned until January 20.

A solicitor appeared for Lieu on Monday and initially made a bail application, but subsequently withdrew it.

Lieu had been on bail, but it was revoked previously after a review was sought in court.

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