Two Sydney brothers accused of helping grow more than $2 million worth of hydroponic cannabis in a Port Kembla warehouse have been granted strict conditional bail.
Family and friends of Vietnamese nationals Van Nam Tran and Dunh Hung Tran agreed to put up a combined cash bond of $116,000 to secure the pair’s release on bail in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday.
The two men, along with three other co-accused, are accused of cultivating more than 500 plants of varying sizes in a 70m x 15m shed located on Flinders Street.
Court documents reveal general duties police discovered a Lexus parked outside the seemingly empty shed while on patrol in the early hours of September 30 and initially believed it may be linked to the recent increase in copper wire thefts in the area.
Officers called for back up before storming the shed.
Court documents said police immediately saw “a number of Asian males within the shed and noticed a very strong smell of cannabis”.
All five men tried to flee but were arrested after a short pursuit, with the Trans’ three co-accused each found wearing gloves.
Police discovered the shed had been split into six growing rooms, each of which had its own hydroponic set up including lamps, fans and filtration devices.
Police seized 566 plants, estimated to have a street value of more than $2 million.
In court on Wednesday, prosecutors did not oppose the Trans’ release on bail provided a number of conditions were imposed, including a nighttime curfew, daily reporting to police and a non-association order with their co-accused.
The pair must also surrender their passports, live at a designated residence in Bankstown and not own more than one mobile phone each.
It is understood both men deny the charges against them and will opt to take the matter to trial.
The matter will return to court next year.