HAUL: A police officer with some of the cannabis seized in last month’s raid at a Steel Street storage shed. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers THE NSW Crime Commission have seized all of the properties owned by the alleged director of a Newcastle drug syndicate, Newcastle Local Courthas heard.
And police investigating Nga White’s alleged involvement in a tangled web of money laundering and drug supply have charged the 44-year-old nail salon owner with four fresh offences, including cultivating a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
Unable to raise a $100,000 cash surety, the fundamental requirement of a bail application made after her arrest nearly three weeks ago, MsWhite has been languishing in Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre.
On Tuesday, she appeared in the same court via audio visual link from jail where her barrister William Hussey sought a bail variation; a reduction in the cash surety from $100,000 to $50,000.
He said Ms White’s accountant had pooled funds from each of the companies she owns and had only managed to come up with $50,000.
But the court heard an alternative condition to the $100,000 surety was that Ms White mortgage some real estate and then forfeit $200,000.
Meeting that condition had become problematic, the court heard, because since Ms White’s arrestthe NSW Crime Commission hadseized all of her properties.
Magistrate Sharron Crews said she didn’t feel comfortable reducing the existing $100,000 cash surety.
“My feeling is that depositing cash or the mortgage condition was quite inherent to the bail because of the flight risk,” Ms Crews said.
“This was a really important part of the grant of bail, these are very serious allegations. “There is an allegation that she has numerous properties that have been used in the commission of these offences.“There is a very strong disincentive to appear.”
And further, Ms Crews was uneasy about dealing with the bail variation in the absence of a representative from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who the court heard would be prosecuting the matter in the wake of the fresh charges being laid.
Ms Crews adjourned the matter until Wednesday so someone from the DPP could appear.
Three of Ms White’s seven co-accusedswill appear in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday.
SOPHISTICATED: Police raided a warehouse on Steel Street last month, allegedly unearthing more than 300 cannabis plants. Picture: NSW Police