Pharmacist pleads guilty to importing ice pipes


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A WA pharmacist has pled guilty in court after attempting to import more than 2000 ice pipes into the country

Hoang Nam Nguyen, who owns the Cloud 9 chain of smoke shops in Perth, made three orders of the pipes from China and India in 2014, the West Australian reports.

He attempted to have them sent to his pharmacy in Edgewater but the pipes were intercepted by customs officials.

Nguyen’s defence lawyer said that when he ordered the pipes online, they were described as “glass tobacco pipes” and that Nguyen, not a smoker or methamphetamine user, had believed the pipes were for tobacco.

When his home was searched by customs officials, Nguyen said he also thought the pipes could be used for holding candles or as kerosene lamps.

However, Magistrate Elizabeth Ross said that it was “naïve” to think a pharmacist would be unfamiliar with the way illicit drugs such as ice were taken.

Nguyen pled guilty to three counts of importing prohibited products, and will be sentenced later in the month.

His defence lawyer has applied for a spent conviction. Without this outcome, his ability to practise as a pharmacist could be compromised.

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