A VIETNAMESE-Australian who racked up $220,000 in debt to gambling associates while playing blackjack at Crown Casino claims he started operating a cannabis grow house to help pay back the money.
Van Ri Nguyen, 60, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Monday to a charge of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis, and the theft of power from Powercor.
The grow house in Romsey contained 163.5 kilograms of cannabis six times the threshold for a commercial quantity.
The court a family member arranged the purchase of the property on Coleraine Drive in August 2015.
The family introduced themselves to neighbours and hosted a barbecue before Christmas, but Nguyen refused to allow them to see inside a shed at the back of th…
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