A Vietnamese refugee caught running a million-dollar indoor
cannabis operation, in which he stole $26,000 worth of
electricity to heat and light the rental houses where he was
growing the drug has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Van Huy Bui, 34, was convicted earlier this year after a
trial in the Auckland District Court on multiple charges of
cultivating and selling cannabis, possession of
methamphetamine and theft.
In December 2008, police discovered he and associate Binh Van
Le had converted houses into commercial-scale
cannabis-growing sites with an annual harvest worth between
$800,000 and $1 million.
Bui was caught after anonymous handwritten letters were sent
to the police, claiming knowledge of an illegal drug
Police went to the Glenfield address mentioned in the letter
and uncovered the operation. In the house they found more
than 100 cannabis plants in buckets growing under suspended
artificial light sources. They also found seedlings in
The property was fitted with a massive array of transformer
lights, fans, filters and irrigation equipment, all run from
an unmetered power cable. Police found a similar operation at
a second North Shore property rented by Bui and Le.
Bui was sentenced in the Auckland District Court this
- Anna Leask of the New Zealand Herald