Pharmacist to pay nearly $100k for importing ice pipes

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The pharmacist who also owns a chain of Perth smoke shops has been ordered to pay nearly $100,000 after pleading guilty

Earlier this month Hoang Nam Nguyen, who owns the Cloud 9 chain of shops in Western Australia, pleaded guilty to importing more than 2000 ice pipes from China and India between May and July 2014.

At the time Nguyen’s defence lawyer said that when the pharmacist ordered the pipes, they were described as “glass tobacco pipes” and that Nguyen, who did not use methamphetamines or tobacco, believed they were intended for use in smoking tobacco.

He had also said he thought the pipes could be used for holding candles or as kerosene lamps.

However Magistrate Elizabeth Ross said it was “naïve” to think that a pharmacist would not know how ice was taken.

The ice pipes were bought for only 73 cents each, but the court heard that they would have sold for between $60 and $120 each.

ABC news reports that Nguyen has now been fined $60,000 for illegally importing the pipes. He was also ordered to pay $36,500 in court costs.

Nguyen’s defence lawyer had applied for a spent conviction, saying that his ability to practise as a pharmacist could be compromised otherwise.

However the magistrate refused, the ABC reports, saying that there were no exceptional circumstances warranting such an order.

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