A former professional poker player is facing 13 years behind bars over his role in a £2.25 cannabis empire. Luang-Huu Bui was arrested three years ago after police seized over 1,200 cannabis plants with a street value of up to £2.25 million at an industrial unit near Comber, Co Down and residential properties in Belfast and Coalisland, Co Tyrone.
The Vietnamese-born Brit was found guilty of conspiracy to supply and produce Class B drugs, being concerned in their production, possessing criminal property, dishonestly using electricity, and assisting unlawful immigration.
The prosecution claimed that Bui was a major figure in an organised crime group operating on both sides of the Irish border and rejected his defence that money that was found at his home was winnings from poker.
Bui claimed to be a professional player even having only four tournament cashes on his resume but we don’t know if he was known in the cash game scene.
Out of those four cashes, he accumulated $352,976 in winnings with a win in the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour London Grand Final for £144,905 and two third places. Not bad.
After the trial, Bui was sentenced to 12 years for cultivating cannabis, abstracting electricity and assisting unlawful immigration with 3 more consecutive years for attempting to pervert the court of justice after more factories were discovered.
This was ruled to be excessive and the total sentence was reduced to 13 years total.
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