Lincoln man jailed for laundering cash from cannabis farms in Lincolnshire
A man convicted of laundering tens of thousands of pounds of drug money through a Lincoln nail bar was today jailed for four years.
Vietnamese national Duc Sy Bui, described to the jury as being connected to five cannabis farms operating in Lincoln and one in North Yorkshire, also "washed" the so-called "dirty money" through a Nottingham casino.
But his illegal business, operated through the Exquisite Nail Bar in Silver Street, Lincoln, came crashing down in 2010 after police recovered £40,000 cash during two separate raids on his home in the south of Lincoln.
Bui, 42, of Blyton Grove, Lincoln, was found guilty on two charges of acquiring, using or possessing criminal property and one charge of money laundering, to be served concurrently.
The jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told that more than £100,000 of drug money was laundered.
Passing sentence Judge Sean Morris told Bui: "This was a lot of money and it came from crime.
"One of the most important players in the cannabis growing game is the money launderer. It is a leading role in that game. Without the money launderer the fat profits could not be distributed.
"I am quite satisfied that you were connected to cannabis growing in a significant way. You should hang your head in sham."
A jury was unable to reach verdicts on Bui's partner Hien Thanh Le, 36, also of Blyton Grove, Lincoln.
The prosecution announced today that they will not be pursuing a retrial and not guilty verdicts were recorded on her.
During the two-week trial Bui claimed he and his partner Hien Thanh Le were regularly given cash gifts by relatives back in Vietnam and he denied he was involved in either money laundering or drugs.
Philip Bown, defending, said Bui had been forced to leave Vietnam after a relative became involved in a dispute with the Government.
"He left in circumstances which were unenviable to say the least. His brother had land taken by the Government. When he sought to help challenge that he was dismissed from the Communist Party and lost his job."
He said Bui and his partner were forced to flee leaving behind a five-year-old child.
Mr Bown said Bui came from an affluent background and found himself living in "a world apart" when he arrived in the UK.
He added: "There is no evidence connecting him directly with the production of cannabis. In addition there was clearly quite a large volume of money that moved from Vietnam to assist them establish their life here."