ABC Australia reports
A 38-year-old Kalgoorlie restaurant owner accused of masterminding a million-dollar commercial cannabis operation at a rural property in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt has been granted bail, despite being considered a “flight risk” by police.
- Bing Xia, 38, has faced court over a significant drug bust involving more than 2,000 cannabis plants
- Five other men were charged following a January 5 raid by police on a Wheatbelt farm at Kokeby
- Police said there was “significant evidence” of Mr Xia’s involvement in the operation
WA Police arrested five men aged 49, 47, 43, 30, and 28 after raiding a Kokeby farm on January 5 where they seized 2,023 plants and 132 kilograms of cannabis with an estimated street value of more than $1 million.
Former Chinese national Bing Xia, who opened Kalgoorlie restaurant Kyoto House last year, was subsequently arrested after police say they identified him as the property owner.
Police prosecutor, Senior Constable Michelle Heales, opposed bail, telling the court there was “significant evidence” of Mr Xia’s involvement in the operation.
She told the court Mr Xia purchased the Kokeby property in May last year and that police have council documents showing he paid rates.
She said Mr Xia was renting the property to a man he allegedly met on an encrypted platform for about $4,000 a month.
“The encrypted messages discuss the location and say that it was perfect to remain undetected,” she said.
Read more at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-16/kalgoorlie-drug-accused-faces-court-over-cannabis-seizure/101985664